Monday, 29 April 2019

The Queen Appoints the Duchess of Cambridge Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary today, the Queen has bestowed an enormous honour on Kate. The Duchess has been appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for services to the Sovereign.


Awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by the Queen. Below, the press release from Buckingham Palace this evening.


The Royal Victorian Order was established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognised personal service to the monarch. More on the history of the order: "Prior to the close of the 19th century, most general honours within the British Empire were bestowed by the sovereign on the advice of her British ministers, who sometimes forwarded advice from ministers of the Crown in the Dominions and colonies (appointments to the then most senior orders of chivalry, the Most Noble Order of the Garter and the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, had been made on ministerial advice since the 18th century and were not restored to the personal gift of the sovereign until 1946 and 1947, respectively. Queen Victoria thus established on 21 April 1896 the Royal Victorian Order as a junior and personal order of knighthood that allowed her to bestow directly to an empire-wide community honours for personal services. The organisation was founded a year preceding Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, so as to give the Queen time to complete a list of first inductees. The order's official day was made 20 June of each year, marking the anniversary of Queen Victoria's accession to the throne."


A Knight or a Dame Grand Cross (which Kate received) is the highest rank. The Countess of Wessex and The Duchess of Cornwall received the same honour, in 2010 and 2012 respectively. In 2015, Harry was officially made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. The Duke of Edinburgh was only appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 2017. Royal historian Marlene Koenig notes Charles and William have not received appointments, because as heirs, they will head the order one day. RVO's are also given to staff members; earlier this year Kate's assistant Natasha Archer was made a member. Below, the grades of the order.


Wikipedia adds:

'The reigning monarch is at the apex of the Royal Victorian Order as its Sovereign, followed by the Grand Master; the latter position was created in 1937 and was occupied by Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) from that date until her death in 2002. Queen Elizabeth II then appointed her daughter, Anne, Princess Royal, to the position in 2007.'

More from Victoria Murphy:

'In addition to Kate, members of the royal family who have been appointed to the Royal Victorian Order include Prince Harry, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke of York, Princess Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent.
But being a member of the British royal family isn't a requirement. The list also includes British diplomats and others who have served the monarchy in some way, and there are even some honorary members, such as Emperor Akihito of Japan and King Harald V of Norway, to name just two.'

At white-tie functions such as State banquets, we will see Kate wearing a blue sash with red and white trim and the star of the order in recognition of the appointment. Should the Cambridges participate in the upcoming US State visit in June, we'll see it then.


Below, the Duchess of Cornwall wearing the sash and star.


A detailed view of the gold embroidered star.


Below, the Countess of Wessex wearing the riband of a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.


This star from the Order was King George V's.


In 2017, Kate received the Royal Family Order from Her Majesty. The Duchess was first photographed wearing at the Dutch State banquet last October. The order is a personal memento rather than a state decoration.


Majesty Magazine's Joe Little notes a service for the Royal Victorian Order will be held on Friday 3, May at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. It's very likely we'll see Kate there. The service is held every four years in Windsor because the Chapel of the Order, the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy in London, is too small to house the number in attendance.


A royal source told reporter Rebecca English the Duchess is "honoured". It's a very special gift from Her Majesty.


And on that note, wishing the Cambridges a very happy 8th wedding anniversary!


I can still vividly remember the excitement on the day of the wedding and how I thought: "Maybe, I'll start a blog..." :)


We'll see Kate on Wednesday for her visit to the Anna Freud Centre.

74 comments:

  1. What a wonderful way to celebrate their 8th wedding anniversary! Congrats to Kate, I know she must be proud! Can't believe it was 8 YEARS ago! I got up super early with my roommate while in undergrad to watch this (We live in North Carolina). We both gasped when Kate got out of the car -- simply breathtaking! Her wedding dress will forever be one of the all-time greats!

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  2. Rita in Florida29 April 2019 at 20:22

    What an honor!! Kate must be very proud. She really has got it together that young woman. I am a little confused Charlotte - did Camilla receive a similar award already?

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    1. Apologies Rita, I just updated the post. Sophie received the same award in 2010 and Camilla in 2012.

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  3. This is absolutely lovely, wonderful news. I am so happy. I love Kate, she is beautiful inside and out, a total asset to the royal family and our country and this is so, so well deserved ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

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  4. Rebecca - Sweden29 April 2019 at 20:32

    Can't belive it's already been 8 years since they married! And three wonderful kids later!

    And what a nice anniversery gift! I must say I'm surprised that she got it this close to the family order! Not for any reason other than the order was not really on my mind! So a really nice and fun surprise to see today! Will be wonderful to see Kate in a sash in the future!

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  5. Thank you Charlotte for having that thought of "maybe I'll start a blog" eight years ago. We may not be able to present you with a Royal Order but a big order of thanks is due you for all the personal delight you have afforded all who read and participate in Duchess Kate. You have not only enlightened us in the ways of the royals, you have educated us through their travels in the world and more importantly forged new friendships through the power of the written word.

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    1. Yes indeed thank you Charlotte for all the pleasure you bring to us all. I very seldom comment but I am always lurking and really appreciate your excellent blog.

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    2. Could not agree more! Has been a delightful journey and you, Charlotte, have been an absolutely fabulous tour guide!

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    3. Amen to that chorus! What wonderful years of pleasure to pop in daily (sometimes more) and read, re-read, study the photos and check out the comments. I saw this story headline on a Google News feed, but chose to read it here first instead.

      I agree that Charlotte deserves a Blogspot Order of the Highest Degree from all of us. However, I'm at a loss for a significantly pompous and regal sounding name for it. Obviously we can't use "Royal" as we aren't. Still, we aren't "common" either. Perhaps others (there's plenty of wit and creativity in this community) could chime in with suggestions for a title and a suitable gong.

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    4. Yes 100% US Granny! Charlotte, I am so glad your random thought played out like it did! For both Kate and Meghan-the blogs are my favorite!

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    5. +1. When I saw Charlotte's comment on "starting a blog" I just had to visit the comment and say, 'thank you.' So much enjoy it.

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    6. Totally agree with you, USA Granny! I loved Charlotte's comment about how she thought about starting the blog. Thank goodness she did. An amazing honor for the Duchess and a huge thanks to Charlotte, who shares her name with the Duchess' daughter. :-)

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    7. You said it all so well, USA Granny and others replying above. Charlotte, your two royal blogs are just THE BEST! Thank you for all the enjoyment, wisdom, and gorgeous photos over the years.

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  6. I’m very happy for Kate with this new honor from HM. And happy anniversary to the Cambridges!

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    1. Me too Anon23!! Looking forward to the next State dinner and Kate's new sash!! Happy anniversary to Kate and William and congratulations to Kate on this happy surprise and honor. cc

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  7. What a gorgeous tiara Countess Wessex is wearing - one of the delightful perks of being married to the son of the Queen!

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    1. I agree! Since the first time I became aware of her, I have thought that Sophie is a very beautiful woman. She looks even more beautiful with that tiara!

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    2. Agree! That photo set me off on a Google rabbit trail and a sort of name for it: The Five Aquamarine Tiara.

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  8. Charlotte, I'm so glad that you started this blog, eight years ago! :) Your blogs are my number one source of news of the Cambridges and Sussexes, as I know I can trust the information you provide. Having an uplifting source of news about the royals is refreshing. Thank you for the time and effort you put into your coverage.

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    1. Cannot agree more. Thank you Charlotte.... and for the community you created...

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  9. What a glorious honor to bestow on our beloved Duchess. Watched the wedding eight years ago. How time flies! Wishing them continued happiness throughout the years.

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  10. Congratulations! That indeed and honor! XOXOXOXO

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  11. A wonderful anniversary gift! ❤

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  12. Well done to both Kate & you, Charlotte! 8 years running this blog & you’ve done an exemplary job ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป Just like the Duchess has done for the BRF. Happy Anniversary William & Kate! ๐ŸŽŠ

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    1. Kiwi Gal, I couldn’t agree more! Well done to both Kate and Charlotte! What an honor for Kate, and Charlotte, what an outstanding job you do with your beautiful posts. We appreciate you and all your hard work!

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    2. Yes, Charlotte has done a great job!

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  13. Happy Anniversary Will & Kate

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  14. That’s really exciting! I am sure even 8 years in you can get thoughts of, am I doing things correctly? I am sure it’s more just a sigh of relief to be making her grandmother in law and the sovereign happy.

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  15. This is a wonderful honor for Kate and a super chance to say how thankful your readers are, Charlotte, for the beautiful job you do here and on Mad About Meghan. You deserve your own Royal Order for the wonderful information you share and the lovely tone of appreciation, respect and fun that you bring to our royal watching on this blog. Thank you, AnneHH

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    1. Rita in Florida29 April 2019 at 22:26

      I agree 100% on all Anon 21:45 - Royal Order for Charlotte!

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  16. Tammy from California29 April 2019 at 21:47

    I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. I'm so glad Kate received this honor. She deserves it.
    I hope Meghan will earn this honor among others before HM passes too.(Isnt that awful to think that way...)

    Happy Anniversary to the Cambridge's ♥️

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    1. Well, her mother did live to be 101... :-)

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  18. Bravo Kate, well deserved!

    Charlotte, Would you elaborate on the specifics of what the star will look like when worn on the sash? Is the star embroidered fabric or is it more like a piece of jewelry with stones, enameled and such?

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    1. It’s not fabric. It’s metal. The fabric is just what’s sewn on the outside of the ceremonial robe.

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  19. Congratulations to Catherine. What an honor to have bestowed upon her. I too want to thank you, Charlotte for the beautifully written, informative and educational pieces that you share with us. I applaud you for the many years you have devoted to this. The time, effort, research and composition of the blog is truly amazing. You give those that follow you a royal treat with each and every piece.

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    1. Another amen from me! For the comment and "sparkle, shine, be kind."

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    2. Well said!
      Yes, thank you, Charlotte for your dedication and hard work.
      Lesley from Dallas

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  20. This last photo is so beautiful!!!

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  21. You probably can't print this, Charlotte, but my initial response was, "About damn time! "
    Since even my autocorrect offers me a multitude of choices other than the swearword, I would totally understand being edited. I just had to say it. Come to think of it, "about Dame time" might work here. ;)
    Every time Kate has appeared at a white-tie event I would see all the royals in their bright sashes and there was Catherine -sashless.

    I am grateful that there was not the wide-spread speculation over this as there was over the Family Order. There is apparently no protocol or standard for this gift. With the FO, we found she had the thing for a year before we knew; this was due to the fact that she received it before an event not usually photographed. Perhaps HM learned from this and presents it just a few months before the next photographed white-tie event. I see there is to be a ceremony as well.

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    1. Oh thank you for saying this.
      I came out with the exact same comment when the news hit...it's about darn time. Was beginning to think there was something wrong and could never figure out if it was a protocol issue. Just so happy that she is getting all the accolades that she deserves. :) ....Sheryl from B.C.

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  22. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)30 April 2019 at 00:26

    ...and how glad we all are that you had that thought, Charlotte! :)

    Congrats to Kate on the honor!

    Shantel
    Minnesota, USA

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  23. Bravo, Kate!
    She’s put up with so many negative comments about her clothes, shoes, hair, makeup, you-name-it, but, and don’t miss this,,,, through it all, she maintain poise, dignity and grace. Nothing stopped her! She’s an inspiration to us all. And the Middleton family — always exceptional.

    Thank you, Kate, for the lessons in dignity and huge thanks to you, Charlotte, for this delightful blog. I remember when you started it :) 8 years? Seems like yesterday.

    Cheers to all,
    Jane in TX

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  24. Thank you so much for your blog! It's a joy to read.

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  25. I am another one who is happy that you got that notion to blog, Charlotte. :) Thanks so much for bringing such a wealth of information to us in this way. That said, I'm so glad that Her Majesty chose to honor her fair subject, the Duchess, with enrollment in that order. The Duchess is truly an asset to Queen and country and carries out her duties with grace, while putting her own modern spin on it with her cheerful and welcoming personality.

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  26. hmm im glad i started these reading these blog eight years ago and what a honor to be in your here with you and to meet other royal fans here i love the honor given by the queen she really a true asset of the royal family she shown much effort in these past 8 years i hope one day meghan the duchess of sussex will be given a medal or honor like these one

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  27. I don't know why I feel so weepy reading this....a wonderful gift of honor from QE2.
    Charlotte. A million gestures of thanks would not be enough to show my gratitude for DK. Happiest of anniversaries to the Duke and Duchess.

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  28. This is quite a marvelous honor for Kate. I hope they have enjoyed a happy anniversary. For all that you have done in the past eight years, Charlotte, you deserve some sort of honor yourself. Thank you again and again for your work.

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  29. Question: What about Princess Anne?

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    1. Anne has been Grand Master of the Order since 2007. The position was previously held by the Queen Mother, it's the most senior position after the monarch.

      Thank you all for your warm and kind comments. It's been quite a journey blogging :)

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  30. Jean from Lancs30 April 2019 at 11:00

    How lovely to give Catherine the honour on her wedding anniversary:hardly seems possible that it is eight years ago.
    Charlotte, thank you for giving us the rankings of the order. Kept meaning to look it up.
    Hope we will see her wearing it for the US President's state banquet.

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  31. So happy Catherine has been given this recognition! Very well deserved!
    No matter what some people love to comment and say to destroy Catherine’s reputation, the Queen has just made clear what she thinks of her and her work.

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  32. What a wonderful honour congratulations to the duchess for all her work. Catherine has been a upstanding member of the royal family and support the queen with duty and grace. In these trying times the royal family stability and constant is important and Catherine role in the royal family is one of support and her humility in duty without seeking out of the spot light will hold her in high regard and that is what makes Catherine special. The way she supports the royal family the queen, Willian and the beautiful children she is raising with William. Hope we see her at the next state visit with the US President to see this new honour. Thanks Charlotte for all your excellent work enjoy the blog.

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  33. I think it is wonderful that Kate has received this honor from the Queen. It is well-deserved. I look forward to Kate's upcoming engagement tomorrow at the Anna Freud Center and it reminds me that tomorrow also begins Mental Health Awareness Month in the US. I wish the month of May was designated as such globally, but just because it is a US awareness campaign, that does not mean that others across the globe can't be a part of it as well. After all, in most countries, between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 people will experience one or more mental health challenges at some point in their life. I would love to see the day when such a month-long awareness campaign is not needed, because we have ended the stigma, increased access and affordability of mental health care, normalized mental health conversations, and reduced the rates of suicide across the board. But, I'm glad that we have had this awareness month since 1949 (70 years), and that its purpose and mission has become better understood and more vital over the last several decades. We still have a long way to go, but we have also come a long way in the field of mental health since 1949.

    To learn more about this year's Mental Health Awareness Month, check out the following link: https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwaqwxOz34QIVF43ICh1yuQcaEAAYASAAEgL0i_D_BwE

    Some other helpful links:

    Ways to help a loved one (or even someone you've just met) who may be suicidal: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/20/707686101/reach-out-ways-to-help-a-loved-one-at-risk-of-suicide?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20190420

    Suicide prevention and mental health resources: https://afsp.org/find-support/resources/

    Safety and Mental Health Support on Social Media:
    https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/safety-and-support-on-social-media/

    May is a good month to also put the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number (1-800-273-8255) in your phone. You never know when you might need it for yourself or someone else. Additionally, the US emergency services number (911) can also be called for any mental health crisis.

    In the UK, of course the emergency services number (999) can be called for a mental health crisis. But, the Samaritans number (116 123) is the country's suicide prevention lifeline number.

    I don't have the other international suicide prevention lifelines memorized, but I strongly recommend everyone putting the one for your country in your phone contacts.

    Also, if your country offers Mental Health First Aid, consider taking the course. It gives you the appropriate skills and tools to help someone who may be struggling with a mental health challenge or crisis. Here is the link to an international list of Mental Health First Aid programs: http://www.mhfainternational.org/international-mhfa-programs.html

    In the US, find out more about Mental Health First Aid: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org

    In the UK, find out more about Mental Health First Aid: https://mhfaengland.org

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    1. Great information Sarah, thank you for sharing. If I may, I'd like to share the following link that has several important hotline numbers for the United States including the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), national number and websites by state. I personally strongly support and admire your advocacy on mental health, and I too look forward to Kate's engagement tomorrow and applaud her continued efforts to promote better mental health for children and adults. We may not always know it, but it touches us each and every day of our lives in one form or another. Right now my grandson is dealing with one of his best friends whose family has been living in shelters and homeless at times for the past 10 months. The mother struggles with mental health issues and cannot stay employed. His friend is a bright young adolescent having to deal with parents who aren't capable of solving their issues alone. Their friendship is strong and my grandson has a kind heart, is a good listener and friend, and while we help when we can, professional guidance and resources are critical to them staying on track as it is a constant struggle. Mental health organizations need all the support they can be given because their services are so important. Looking forward to Kate championing her much needed initiative. cc

      https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources

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  34. Great news for Kate Well deserved as she has dedicated herself to the role and been exemplary in her behaviour at all times Whether on or off duty Kate has grow into her role and can’t wait to see her wearing her sash being regal as always Charlotte thank you for the information and history re the honour

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  35. Is it your blog's anniversary too then? Happy Blog Birthday and many thanks for all the hard work you put into this site!

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  36. Also rather exciting, for me anyway, Kate can now add the Royal Victorian Order to her coat of arms.

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  37. Zora from Prague30 April 2019 at 16:31

    How marvellous! A real honour! I'm so happy for Kate!
    I only found out today and I'm so excited!!!
    Thank you so much for all your work, Charlotte, and for making this blog such a wonderful place!๐Ÿ’

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  38. I just want to second all of the thanks, Charlotte, that have been coming your way. You have done a wonderful job with this blog, and we are thankful for all of your time and effort! You have created something lovely here.

    What a wonderful honor the Queen has given to Catherine. And well deserved. She has worked to become a graceful representative of the monarchy and the country, and it is wonderful to see the Queen acknowledge and support her with this accolade—she does not give them out freely or frequently. It speaks well of The Queen’s opinion of Catherine and the role she has filled in the family. Lovely news.

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  39. This also is a significant mark of respect for Kate as the first woman of her generation in the royal family to be appointed.

    I can only add my appreciation to the other acknowledgements of Charlotte's excellent work here - very glad this site exists!

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  40. I think it's a lovely honor for Kate and so nice to see HM recognizing Kate's value and service to the the Queen and the BRF. Still, I feel bothered a little bit about this honor being bestowed as a gesture for her wedding anniversary. I feel like this honor should be about Kate and all that she's done, and not seemingly tied just to her status as being William's wife. Yes, of course, she's part of the BRF because she's married to William, but she's done so much with her position, with grace and charm, that I would have liked to have seen this honor bestowed in the context that would have more clearly conveyed a message of "this is for all that Kate does to support the Queen."

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    1. Camilla received hers on her seventh wedding anniversary. I guess it is considered a sort of combat pay. ;)
      Zippy, I do understand what you are saying. Maybe something will be said at the gathering

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  41. Caroline in Montana30 April 2019 at 18:30

    I cant believe its been so long since you started and ive been following! how time flies. your blogs are the best charlotte, thank you for everything! I love that Kate got this Order. I agree with whomever said above that hopefully there is time for meghan to get these from QE2. The future is wide open!

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  42. congrats on 8 years of marriage to the beautiful and happy couple.
    great to see her bestowed this honour by Her Majesty.

    thanks Charlotte for your hard work

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  43. It looks like Kate had some engagements today per the Times court circular:

    Kensington Palace
    30th April, 2019
    The Duchess of Cambridge this morning visited Sayers Croft Wildlife Garden and Forest School at Paddington Recreation Ground, London W9.

    The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron, the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, this evening held a Reception at Kensington Palace for members of Her Royal Highness’s Early Years Steering Group.

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  44. Will she still be styled as HRH Catherine Duchess of Cambridge? Or does the Dame title get a look in somewhere?

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    1. HRH are a higher title than Dame, so it won’t affect how she is styled, except that on formal documents the letters KGVO (I hope I have the order of the letters right) will follow her name.

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  45. Royal ๐Ÿ‘‘ Watcher1 May 2019 at 04:07

    Congratulations to Kate, well deserved! She has carried herself with grace and passion all these years, a great asset to the royal family. And big cheers to Charlotte and her amazing blog, it’s the only source I read now. Always appropriate and interesting. Thank you!

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  46. So glad you decided to act on that "I should start a blog" thought! Thanks for all your wonderful posts, Charlotte. I especially enjoy the prompt and thorough coverage of the Duchess' tours. :) Best wishes, Kate.

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  47. Sincere CONGRATS to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Thanks, Charlotte. I read your history narrative and learned a lot about the “Order”. Happy Anniversary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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  48. Hi Charlotte! Thanks so much for such an informative post? Was the GCVO given to DoC privately? I expected her to be honored at Friday's ceremony. Thanks for any info! - Janet

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    1. Hello Janet,

      Yes it was awarded privately. I thought perhaps on Easter Sunday?

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