Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order
is a part of the British honours system
which was established in 1896
, and is usually awarded to personal servants of the Queen. Also, unlike many other British orders, it is within the personal gift of the Sovereign, rather than being awarded by the Sovereign upon the advice of the Prime Minister.
It is divided into five grades (whose post-nominals are provided in parantheses):
- Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)
- Knight/Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO/DCVO)
- Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)
- Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO)
- Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO)
There is also a related Royal Victorian Medal (RVM).
There are no limits on the numbers of individuals to whom membership of the Order may be awarded.
The insignia involve various different elements:
- The Collar is a gold chain composed of four blue-enamelled octagons, each bearing a rose, alternating with four oblong rectangles, each bearing one of the inscriptions: "Victoria," "Brit. Reg." (Queen of Britain), "Def. Fid." (Defender of the Faith), and "Ind. Imp." (Empress of India). In the centre of the Collar is a gold medallion bearing the image of Queen Victoria. Only Knights and Dames Grand Cross are entitled to the collar, which they wear around the neck.
- The Badge is a white, eight-pointed Maltese Cross, in the centre of which is a a crimson oval bearing the Cypher VRI. The oval is within a blue enamelled circle, surmounted by an Imperial Crown, and bearing the word Victoria in gold letters. Knights and Dames Grand Cross wear it worn suspended from the collar. Knights Commander and male Commanders, Lieutenants, and Members wear it on a ribbon worn around the neck, while Dames Commander and female Commanders, Lieutenants, and Members wear it on a bow placed on the left shoulder.
- The Star is a silver chipped star of eight points with a representation of the Badge in the centre. Only Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commander are entitled to it.
- The Mantle is a dark blue satin coat with red and white edges.