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Royal Guelphic Order

Template:Infobox order

The Royal Guelphic Order (German: Guelphen-Orden), sometimes also referred to as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, is a Hanoverian order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later George IV).[1] It has not been conferred by the British Crown since the death of King William IV in 1837, when the personal union of the United Kingdom and Hanover ended.

It continued to be conferred by the Kingdom of Hanover as an independent state and subsequently. After the defeat and forced dissolution of the Kingdom of Hanover by the Kingdom of Prussia, the order continued as a house order to be awarded by the Royal House of Hanover. Today, its current chancellor is the Hanoverian head of the house, Ernst August, Prince of Hanover. The honour is named after the House of Guelph to which the Hanoverian kings belonged, and its insignia were based on the white horse of that kingdom's arms.

In the United Kingdom it has always been regarded as a foreign order, and even before 1837 members of the order were not entitled to style themselves as "Sir" unless they were also created Knights Bachelor, as many were.

Classes

The Order includes two Divisions, Civil and Military. It originally had three classes, but with several reorganizations since 1841, as house order today it has four classes and an additional Cross of Merit. In descending order of seniority, are:

1815-1841

  • Knight Grand Cross (GCH)
  • Knight Commander (KCH)
  • Knight (KH)

(Holders of the respective degrees of the order in Britain were entitled to be postnominally addressed with the initials, which stand for Knight Grand Cross of Hanover, Knight Commander of Hanover and Knight of Hanover.)

After 1841

  • Grand Cross
  • Commander 1st Class
  • Commander 2nd Class
  • Knight
  • Cross of Merit

The Order

Officers

The Order has six officers: the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the Register, the King of Arms, the Genealogist, and the Secretary.

Officers until 1837

The first six officers were:

Officers since 1987

Notable members

See also

References

  1. ^ United Kingdom: The Royal Guelphic Order. Medals of the World, Megan C. Robertson. 2 April 2007

External links

16x16px Media related to Royal Guelphic Order at Wikimedia Commons

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