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RoyalProtocol 03-24-2009 07:41 PM

I doubt Prince Harry will get the Garter in the current reign, perhaps in the next- whoever that may be!

I've said it before elsewhere but it would be nice if the Countess of Wessex got the GCVO in June for her 10th Wedding Anniversary

Baroness of Books 09-25-2011 07:09 PM


Originally Posted by davo (Post 652534)
Volume 2 of Royal Service (Third Millenium, 2001) lists there being two sizes for the Royal Family Orders of Edward VII, George VI and Elizabeth II, and four sizes for George V. For the current reign it lists...

I see Princess Michael of Kent isn't listed here, so I'm assuming she doesn't have the Family Order. If that's the case, then Wikipedia made an error in including her here:

Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The dowager Duchess of Grafton is also listed as a recipient, and I don't know if this is a mistake as well. Knowing Wikipedia, I'm skeptical of much of what it publishes.

yvr girl 09-26-2011 01:16 AM

I hadn't realized that Queen Victoria did not have a family order.

IloveCP 09-26-2011 02:12 AM

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Royal Splendor 101: Royal Family Orders

Baroness of Books 09-26-2011 08:57 AM

:previous: Thank you, IloveCP. Guess Wikipedia needs to check some facts! :eek:

Madame Royale 09-26-2011 11:01 AM


Originally Posted by Baroness of Books (Post 1320058)
The dowager Duchess of Grafton is also listed as a recipient, and I don't know if this is a mistake as well. Knowing Wikipedia, I'm skeptical of much of what it publishes.

The Dowager Duchess of Grafton is a recipient of the said gift.

Baroness of Books 09-26-2011 11:25 AM

:previous: Ah, thank you. Wikipedia lists Princess Michael as a current holder of the Order and had also originally listed the Duchess of Cambridge, but has since corrected that latter error. Hence my skepticism of that info on the site.

Molly2101 09-26-2011 12:06 PM

They had Catherine listed already? Gotta love Wikipedia and it's accuracy... No doubt Catherine will get it soon though. Many others have to wait a few years, or at least provide a grandchild, to receive the Family Order but with her position Catherine will get it in the next couple of years. Camilla got it in 2007, no?

The Royal Family order is different than the Royal Victorian Order, right? I am not very clued up on this side of Royalty, but the Victoria order is the one that has the initials GCVO or KCVO after their title? Sophie received that before Edward did, which I found odd. Does Camilla have that?

Lumutqueen 09-26-2011 12:41 PM

I don't think Catherine will get the RFO that quick. Sarah never got it and she was married to Andrew for 10 years?

Originally Posted by Molly2101 (Post 1320239)
The Royal Family order is different than the Royal Victorian Order, right?

Different order all together, Royal Victorian Order - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sophie was appointed before Edward or Andrew. No to Camilla on the order list.

NGalitzine 09-26-2011 12:56 PM

Both Andrew and Edward had previously been CVO and KCVO and KG before Sophie received received her GCVO. The brothers were promoted to GCVO after Sophie.

Diarist 09-26-2011 04:48 PM

Please can I try to help with a little background information?

Lumutqueen is quite right about the Royal Family Order and the Royal Victorian Order being TWO completely separate classes of Order.

Could I also make a plea to regard with extreme caution anything that Wikipedia says about the British Royal Family - most of its entries are riddled with mistakes!!

To recap: The Royal Victorian Order is bestowed by the Queen on people who have served her or the monarchy in some personal way. The RVO was founded by Queen Victoria as a way of rewarding personal service to her, and within her gift rather than by ministerial recommendation. This remains the position today - the RVO is within the Queen's gift alone.

Recipients can include members of the Royal Family, members of the Royal Household, British Ambassadors who have worked on a State visit made by the Queen to a particular country, members of foreign Royal Families etc. Personal service to the monarch is widely defined, as it includes service to other members of the British Royal Family - for example, the staff of Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Philip etc etc have all been honoured. There are various different classes of the order: in ascending order these are - Member, Lieutenant, Commander, Dame/ Knight Commander and, Knight/Dame Grand Cross. It is common for a person to be honoured when they leave or retire from royal service - for example, when a private secretary to Prince Charles leaves after the end of his or her 'term of duty', they will probably be honoured with some class of RVO award.

The Royal Family Order causes extreme difficulty as so few people understand it, which is probably because it is not announced publically [unlike the Royal Victorian Order, recipients of which are announced in either the Birthday or New Year's Honours Lists]. The Royal Family Order is awarded by the queen to Female Royal Family Members ONLY. It consists of a jewelled portrait of the Sovereign supsended on a coloured ribbon. Traditionally, this was made by Garrard, then Crown Jeweller. Different monarchs have different coloured ribbons - the present Queen issues a Royal Family Order with a Chartreuse Yellow ribbon, the order of George V was white and that of George VI was pink. The Royal Family Order is worn on formal occasions ['white tie'] only. More than one Royal Family Order can be worn - IIRC, the Queen wears the orders of her Grandfather and her Father, the Queen Mother wore the Orders of her husband and her daughter!

The reason why there is so much mystique with regard to the Royal Family Order is because recipients are never announced. You only know that a female member of the Royal Family has been so honoured when you notice on a formal occasion that the Royal Family Order is being worn!!!

Current recipients of the Royal Family Order [whatever Wikipedia might say!!!] are Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Kent, the Princess Royal, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Cornwall.

Diana received the Royal Family Order. Fergie never received the Royal Family Order. You do NOT receive the Royal Family Order automatically on marriage into the Royal Family - it seems [after all, the criteria the Queen uses are NEVER announced] that you must do a bit of Royal work first and also not 'blot your copy book' or redeem yourself in some way if you have previously blotted your copy book.!

Princess Michael has never received the Royal Family Order, and this fact is sometimes cited by people as being 'proof that the Queen dislikes Princess Michael'. There is of course no way of knowing whether this is true or not!! Incidentally, Princess Michael is regarded as a member of the BRF, and indeed has occasionally carried out official Royal Engagements, including [with Prince Michael] representing the Queen abroad, so perhaps it is a little surprising that she has not been made a member of the Royal Family Order. The fact that Fergie was never a recipient of the Royal Family Order does lead me to suspect that perhaps the queen had reasons to doubt Sarah's suitability as a member of the BRF quite early on. This is speculation on my part, however.

Regardless of what some sources may say, Zara Phillips has NOT received the Royal Family Order and the Duchess of Grafton has NOT received the Royal Family Order [the latter not being a member of the BRF].

I would speculate that Catherine has to do a bit more 'royal work' before she receives the Royal Family Order - she is opting to be a wife to her husband at the moment, rather than undertake a full royal role, and there is nothing wrong with that. Just one thought occurs to me - as it will be diamond jubilee year next year, with a number of formal state occasions at which White Tie will be worn, the Queen might feel that Catherine should be so honoured anyway, otherwise she will be the only 'high ranking' female royal who has not recieved the Royal Family Order.

FOOTNOTE about Princess Michael: her lady in waiting [Lady Kitchener-Fellowes] has received an award of the Royal Victorian Order [ I think it was LVO, but I must check this.] This means that Princess Michael appears to be the only member of the BRF who has never been honoured - either with an award of the Royal Victorian Order or with membership of the Royal Family Order.

Hope this helps,


Molly2101 09-26-2011 07:05 PM

Thank you Alex for adding more insight to the orders. They are something that I am not very hot on. I never knew Sarah had never received it, but the reason I was thinking Catherine would receive it more quickly than perhaps Sophie did was because Catherine is married to a future King. But now having read your information Alex, I can see that the Queen is very selective over who she gives honours too, and so she should be!

Baroness of Books 09-26-2011 07:55 PM

Believe me, dear Diarist, Wikipedia is my last go-to place for any source of information on the Royal Family where I know I can get correct information here.:smile: I had originally brought it up because the Kate discrepancy about the Royal Family Order in Wiki was flagged by a member in another thread which we thought was odd because Kate just married into the royal family and hadn't really "earned her stripes" yet. Princess Michael was also mentioned in that list, which I thought was incorrect and was looking for confirmation here. I had always understood that the RFO had to be earned after several years of putting in one's royal dues and that it wasn't a perquisite upon marriage. The Queen was obviously very perspicacious when it came to not giving Sarah the RFO and probably has her reasons for not granting Princess Michael this as well. Perhaps in time she will. And, hopefully, we will see Kate with the RFO next year if indeed there will be formal occasions for the Queen's Jubilee.

Thank you - as always, your posts are informative and insightful.

MRSJ 09-26-2011 10:07 PM

This website does a good job of explaining....

Iluvbertie 09-27-2011 03:43 AM

I actually hope that the Queen doesn't give it to Kate too soon. I do think that she has to do more than marry the 2nd in line to the throne and appear at a few formal dinners/function in order to earn it.

Maybe in time for the 65th Jubilee in 2017.

Diarist 09-27-2011 05:25 AM

I agree with much of what you say Iluvbertie. The principle that one has to actually earn the Order seems a sound one. The fact that Catherine is not working as a 'fully-performing royal' - for reasons that I fully accept, namely that she wants to be as 'normal a wife' and therefore keep out of the public spotlight - does, I think make it slightly harder for her to receive the reward of the Order from the Queen. It's just that - to me - the Diamond Jubilee does pose a slight difficulty, with all other females of the BRF [save for Princess Michael] appearing with the Order at the formal state dinners which I am sure we will be seeing. Of course, Catherine might elect NOT to attend many of the formal Jubilee celebrations, consistent with the couple's desire not to be full-time working royals.

There's another reason I can think of as well, which I hardly dare not give, but I will. Catherine seems absolutely perfect for William and the couple seem very much in love..but there again, bearing in mind the matrimonial strife that seems to have befallen members of the Royal Family in the last 30 years or so, I speculate that the Queen might and, please note, I did say 'might' want to wait for a couple of years before investing Catherine with Her Order, 'just to make sure'. I suppose we mustn't forget that both Diana and Sarah were seen as 'just perfect' as Royal brides when they married, and look what happened........

So far as the Dowager Duchess of Grafton is concerned, she holds the highest rank of the Royal Victorian Order: the GCVO [Dame Grand Cross], which she was awarded in 1980. She 'worked her way' through the ranks of the Order, first being made a CVO [Commander of the Royal Victorian Order] in 1965 and then being made a DCVO [Dame Commander] in 1970.

I can only assume that people are confusing the GCVO that she received with receipt of the Queen's family Order [which she has not of course received] because many of the senior ladies of the Royal Family do receive the GCVO as well.

Just a further piece of information for any intending future Royal Brides who might be reading this (!): if you are so honoured by the Queen with her family Order, you need to make sure that your evening dress is appropriately reinforced - the Order is VERY heavy apparently, and would not 'sit' properly on an 'unreinforced' evening dress!


Baroness of Books 09-27-2011 09:22 AM

:previous: Thanks about the clarification with the Duchess of Grafton's GCVO, Alex, and I'll inform my co-worker about the dress reinforcement since she's highly determined to marry Prince Harry!:rofl:

And, true, Kate should earn the Royal Family Order; after all the whole basis is that you have to work for it before you become a recipient. Well, we'll just have to see what happens if Kate shows up at any of the formal functions for the Jubilee; the Queen may have to give some thought to this situation.

NGalitzine 09-27-2011 10:52 AM

I think they may be confusing the Royal Family Order with the badge the Duchess of Grafton wears as a Lady In Waiting/Mistress of Robes to The Queen.

Baroness of Books 09-27-2011 11:01 AM

FYI - As a result of this erudite thread, Wikipedia updated its Royal Family Order list and has removed Princess Michael and the Duchess of Grafton. ;)

Diarist 09-28-2011 04:21 AM

You may be right, NGalitzine, but the Queen's ladies-in-waiting generally wear [from my personal observation] a brooch with 'E' [for Elizabeth] picked out in diamonds, which is somewhat diffent from an Order made of an ivory minature portrait surrounded in diamonds!

Thanks again for the thought,

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