Duchess Catherine joins a long list of fellow Knights and Dames Grand Cross who received the honour in the past, including Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.
Buckingham Palace announced on Monday, 29 April that the Queen “has been pleased to make the following appointment to the Royal Victorian Order. To be a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) – HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.”
What is the Royal Victorian Order?
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood. It was established by Queen Victoria in 1896 to honour those who went above and beyond the call of duty in service to the monarch.
The ruling monarch – Queen Elizabeth at present – is the only person who can bestow the honour. There is no limit to the number of recipients, and the choice of who will be rewarded remains the sole discretion of the ruling monarch.
The Royal Victorian Order is open to the citizens of sixteen different countries, each with their own system of orders, decorations, and medals. These include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland.
The insignia for a Knight or Dame Grand Cross features an ornate Maltese cross surrounded by an eight-pointed silver star. The badge is also larger for higher ranks.
The Maltese cross (see pic) is the symbol of the Royal Victoria Order and there are different sizes depending on which of the five rankings the holder is at — with the GCVO being the biggest of them all. Prince Harry was made a Knight Commander of the RVO (KCVO) in 2015. pic.twitter.com/7A7iJW5Y4m
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) April 29, 2019
Duchess Catherine received the order for assisting the Queen with her various projects, as well as services rendered to the sovereign.
The honour comes just weeks after Duchess Catherine and the 93-year-old Queen stepped out for their first-ever joint outing. The duo visited King’s College’s Strand campus in London.
Eight years a Royal
Apart from receiving such a high rank from the Queen, Duchess Catherine also celebrated her 8-year-wedding anniversary to Prince William.
Catherine and Prince William’s official Twitter account marked their anniversary with photos from their wedding day and a “thank you” message to their supporters.
“8 years ago today, thank you for your lovely messages on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding anniversary!”
🎊 8 years ago today — thank you for your lovely messages on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding anniversary! pic.twitter.com/jDiIk7bs2V
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 29, 2019