Buckingham Palace announced today that Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge has been made a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order by The Queen.
The Order is the greatest personal honour in The Queen’s gift which she makes personally for services to the Sovereign. The move is seen as the ultimate seal of approval for the Duchess, who celebrates her eighth wedding anniversary today.
Queen Victoria established The Royal Victorian Order in 1896; it recognises distinguished personal service to the Monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the Monarch’s family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the Monarch.
The RVO has five classes from member to Knight or Dame Grand Cross, its highest honour; Catherine’s award is the most senior.
A palace source said that Kate is “honoured and looking forward to continuing to work on behalf of Her Majesty going forward”.
It is further endorsement of the Cambridge family’s position as Catherine increases her work in support of The Queen as the family prepares for their future role – that of Monarch and Queen Consort. In late 2017, Kate was also awarded the Royal Family Order from Elizabeth II.
She joins other royals who have married into the Royal Family, including Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, who received the honour on her seventh wedding anniversary in 2012, and Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, who received it after a decade in 2010. The Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Anne are also members, with the Princess Royal being the order’s Grand Master.
All of these women can use the post-nominal letters of GCVO to mark the award, and wear a blue riband (a sash), edged with red and white on white tie occasions.
The announcement was made in time for the annual chapter of the Royal Victorian Order, which will take place on 3rd May. The order’s chapel is the Savoy Chapel in London, but the small building can no longer accommodate all members. Therefore, we look forward to seeing the Duchess receiving her order in St George’s Chapel, Windsor this week!
Camilla wears her GCVO riband at the Dutch State Banquet in 2018.
The Queen is the sovereign of the order whose motto is Victoria and whose official day is 20 June.