Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge has received Queen Elizabeth II's family order

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The Duchess of Cambridge has received the Queen's Royal Family Order.  She was seen wearing it tonight at the State Dinner in honor of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.

According to Majesty editor, Joe Little, this is the second time that the Duchess has worn the Order.  She also wore it last December when she and the Duke of Cambridge attended the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace.   This has been confirmed by a royal aide, who said that the Duchess first wore it to the Diplomatic Corps reception.  She received the Order in 2017.

The Duchess of Cambridge is the third granddaughter-in-law of a living sovereign to have received a Family Order.  The first two were Empress Auguste Viktoria of Germany, wife of the German Emperor, Wilhelm II, and The Duchess of York, the wife of HRH The Duke of York, son of the Prince of Wales, and, thus, second in line to the throne.  The Duchess of York was born  Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, eldest child of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge and Prince Franz, Duke of Teck.

The German Empress was born Princess Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein, eldest daughter of Friedrich VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. and Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.  Auguste Viktoria married in 1881 to Crown Prince Wilhelm, eldest child of Friedrich III and Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria's eldest child.

Auguste Viktoria was a granddaughter of Princess Feodora of Leiningen, Queen Victoria's older half-sister.

Princess May, as she was known to her family, was first engaged to HRH Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, elder son of the Prince and Princess of Wales.  Only weeks before their wedding in February 1892,  the Duke of Clarence caught a chill at the funeral of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and died from pneumonia on January 14.

Queen Victoria was very keen on May and encouraged the Duke of Clarence's younger brother, Prince George, Duke of York, now second in line to the throne, to marry May.  He proposed a year after his brother's death.

The Duke of York and Princess May were married at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, on July 6, 1893.

Queen Victoria gave her Family Order to May shortly after the wedding. Her uncle, King George IV, was the first British sovereign to bestow a Family Order on the distaff members of the Royal family.

King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI did not have married royal grandsons.

Queen Elizabeth II is the first British sovereign since Victoria to see her male-line grandsons marry.  Victoria had one male line grandson marry in her lifetime.  Queen Elizabeth II has two: the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.

The Family Order has been made from ivory, but due to the Duke of Cambridge's anti-ivory stance,  the Duchess' Order, according to Majesty magazine editor, Joe Little,  was made from glass.    When a recipient dies, the Order is returned to the Sovereign and re-used.

Here is a list of all the Royal woman who has received the Queen's Family Order:  Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1952),  Princess Margaret (1952), Princess Alexandra (1952),   the Princess Royal (1952), the Duchess of Kent (1952), the Duchess of Gloucester (1952),  Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (1952), the Duchess of Kent (Katharine),(1961),  Princess Anne (1969), the Duchess of Gloucester (Birgitte) (1973),  the Princess of Wales (1981), the Countess of Wessex (2004), the Duchess of Cornwall (2007) and the Duchess of Cambridge (2018).

Princess Michael of Kent has not received the Order nor did the Duchess of York receive it during her marriage to the Duke of York (Andrew.)

It is not known if Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York,  who are Princesses of the Blood, have the Order as it is only worn at state events, such as  State Dinner, the annual Diplomatic event, or a Coronation.

Queen Elizabeth II wears the Family Orders of King George V and King George VI.  She was only a few months old when her grandfather gave her his Order.  She received her second Order soon after her father succeeded to the throne in December 1936.

The Orders are miniatures with a portrait of the Sovereign painted on ivory, surrounded by diamonds.  The Order is placed on a ribbon.  The Queen's ribbon is yellow.

In other news,  King Willem-Alexander has been given the Garter by the Queen and Queen Maxima has gone full Stuart by wearing the Stuart Diamond tiara, last worn in 1972 by Queen Juliana.




Brittany V. said...

Why would the Queen wait so long to give Catherine the Family Order, but gave Camilla hers just two years after her and Charles married?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Camilla is the wife of the heir to the throne. Catherine was not a full-time royal until last year. She is also the wife of a grandson. Sophie had to wait 5 years, and she is the wife of a son of the sovereign. It is the queen's personal decision. Never announced.

Matthew Plooster said...

Has a monarch even bestowed their order on a non-royal granddaughter/granddaughter-in-law? Could we possibly see it on Zara or Autumn?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

No. The Order is for members of the royal family - the blood royals and the spouses. Neither Zara nor Autumn would ever attend a state dinner or other official event where Orders are worn.

Davo said...

I thought Queen Mary was also given one (of the two larger sized, along with QEQM) when they were first presented in Christmas 1952. There has been some conjecture that this badge was then reissued for Princess Margaret to wear.

Weims319 said...

Marlene this was fascinating, thank you for posting! I cannot believe she is the first monarch since Victoria to see her grandsons marry; what a sentence!

John said...

Marie-Christine has not received because she doesn't do official events on behalf of the Queen? She's still part of the family, I wonder if it makes her sad after all this time. Perhaps HM is not fond of her.

Danielle @ Casa Bower said...

Zara and Autumn would not attend the coronation of Charles, a place the order could be worn?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

John, Queen Victoria was the only one who dispensed the Order (which had different classes) to a lot of female family members. Her successors have largely limited to daughters, granddaughters, wives of sons, sisters. Marie Christine is the wife of a younger son of a royal duke. I doubt Birgitte would have received it if William had married and succeeded to the dukedom. Sarah did not receive it. Princess Arthur of Connaught never received one even though she carried out engagements. Davo .. I do not know. All of the adult royal women got it in 1952.

Anonymous said...

Excuse my ignorance, as one whole lives on the other side of the pond, but what is the "Garter" and what is it significe and is it design specific to the reigning monarch and is it made with precious stones and diamonds? Thank you for all of your very detailed explanations.I find this all very fascinating!!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Danielle, yes, they could attend the Coronation of Charles, but as they are not royal, they would not wear robes or even Coronets. The Order is given to female royals and female royals by marriage. Not to commoners.

Shelli, the Garter and the the Royal Family Order are two separate things. The Order of the Garter is oldest order of chivalry in the world. There are 26 knights at any one time. right now there are three vacancies. Members of the Royal family and foreign sovereigns are extra or supernumerary Knights and are separate from the 26. https://www.royal.uk/order-garter

Every monarch since George IV (except Edward VIII) has had a personal family order with their portrait painted on a miniature and given to female members of the royal family (blood royals and wives of princes) This is explained in my article. It is a personal order from the queen - and she decides when to give it a member of the RF. an announcement is never made

1971 said...

I was going to ask about Princess Arthur, thanks for answering that. And Lady Patricia Ramsay?

Also why is it that foreign Royal female consorts, Queen Maxima on this occasion, don't receive any British orders but male consorts have?

Did William or Camilla receive a Dutch order on this visit?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Victoria had several classes of the Order, unlike her successors, who limited it to the immediate family or those royals closest to the throne. Claus got the Royal Victorian order but Bernhard got coronation medals. No orders for Camilla ... William too early. Not the heir. He and Catherine had no role in visit apart from dinner.

1971 said...

Indeed to early for William, forget sometimes he's not the heir.
But Camilla has NO foreign honour other than 1 French honour, nothing compared to other heir's wives Mary of Denmark or Mette-Marit (married for similar periods) who both have Dutch honours & a dozen or so more. Even Princess Marie of Denmark have nearly 10 non-Danish honours. Is this because the Queen doesn't given to foreign female consorts or some other reason?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The British sovereign gives to the head of state, not the consort, although Claus was made an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

1971 said...

Actually it would be more accurate to say "The British sovereign gives to the head of state and also to the consort of female heads of state" in addition to the Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order Claus received, Bernard was
Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath and Henrik had 3 British Orders being an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of the Bath, St Michael and St George and the Royal Victorian Order.

I think it's interesting/notable that the "British sovereign" makes a distinction between male & female consorts.