The Queen has made Prince Harry a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in a private audience at Buckingham Palace, it is announced. The honour, a personal award from Her Majesty for “services to the Sovereign” is the second highest grade within the Royal Victorian Order and now entitles Prince Harry to the post-nominal “KCVO”.
It is Prince Harry’s first appointment to an order of chivalry in the UK and signals an ever-increasing royal role, as the Prince prepares to leave the Armed Forces at the end of this month.
The honour, while itself a knighthood and making Prince Harry now a knight, will not mean however that Prince Harry will start styling himself ‘Sir’ anytime soon!
Additionally, no photos have been released of the private audience, during which Prince Harry was awarded the insignia and star of a Knight Commander by his grandmother. However the appointment now means he’ll be able to wear these emblems on his uniform, though won’t be entitled to wear a sash, which is reserved for the highest appointment, one grade above Harry’s, GCVO.
Prince Harry now joins many members of the Royal Family who have been appointed to the order over the years, including uncles the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex and Prince Michael of Kent among others.
The Royal Victorian Order itself was created by Queen Victoria, who sought to establish an order of chivalry which could be entirely personal to the Monarch. At the time, most orders of chivalry were appointed to on the advice of the government. Since, it has remained within the personal gift of the Sovereign, ranking below the Order of the British Empire, the most commonly-awarded honour in the UK.
Prince Harry will also be invited to attend the service for the order, now held in St George’s Chapel because of the number of members, which takes place every four years.
Additionally, Harry’s coat of arms will also be ‘updated’ to include the ribbon of the Royal Victorian Order, while formal documents will now reflect his full, formal title of “HRH Prince Henry of Wales KCVO”.
It is expected that Prince Harry will eventually be promoted to the top grade of the order (Knight Grand Cross), as other members of the Royal Family have been after being inducted into the order for a number of years.
Kensington Palace tweeted a photograph of Prince Harry’s new insignia.
photo credit: Land Rover MENA