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Royal News

Queen Camilla debuts the long-awaited Royal Family Order of King Charles III

It was one of the last mysteries of King Charles’s reign, and now Queen Camilla has debuted the long-awaited Royal Family Order of King Charles III.

The portrait of King Charles was painted by miniaturist portrait artist Elizabeth Meek from a photograph taken in 2023 by Hugo Burnard.

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A deviation from past Royal Family Orders saw the King decide to have his portrait painted on polymin rather than ivory. Polymin is a synthetic material similar to ivory.

According to Buckingham Palace, The King is wearing the uniform of the Admiral of the Fleet in his portrait, with the collar of the Order of the Garter, the Royal Victorian Chain, the broad riband of the Royal Victorian Order, and badges from the Order of the Bath and the Order of Merit.

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The pale blue ribbon was designed by Philip Treacy, which was inspired by King George VI’s Royal Family Order. The portrait is framed with diamonds and features a diamond and yellow gold-framed Tudor Crown at the top.

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The Royal Family Order is presented to female members of the British Royal Family at the discretion of the monarch. It is presented in private and recipients are not publicly announced; the only time it is revealed that a member of the Royal Family has received the Royal Family Order is when they wear it to a white tie event.

The royal families of Sweden, Denmark and Norway award Royal Family Orders, as does the royal family of Thailand.

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In the United Kingdom, Royal Family Orders date back to the reign of King George IV in 1821. His order was blue. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert issued a joint order that was white. King Edward VII based his order on his racing colours, which were blue and red with a gold stripe. King George V’s order was pale blue; King George VI’s was pale pink. Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Family Order was pale yellow.  

To date, Queen Camilla is the only woman to wear the Royal Family Order of King Charles.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.