The Queen has bestowed an honour to a trusted member of her staff at Sandringham while she continues to recover from a heavy cold.
In Her Majesty’s first engagement of 2017, she invested Ray Wheaton, the Queen’s Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order.
The Royal Victorian Order is one of the only orders of chivalry awarded entirely at The Queen’s own will and independent of Government appointments or suggestions. Established by Queen Victoria in 1896 to allow for her to dispense honours for personal service (where, at the time, almost all Orders were bestowed on the advice of the Government for national services), the Order is still used today to acknowledge personal service to the Monarch.
Uniquely, the Royal Victorian Order uses the title of ‘Lieutenant’ for its second grade as opposed to Officer as with many other orders. Originally, the two were simply referred to as Members fourth and fifth class until The Queen decided there would be a distinction between the two and in 1984, declared that members fourth class would become Lieutenants of the Order.
Its chapel is the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy in London, though St George’s Chapel is used for the 4-yearly meeting of the Order due to the number of members. Many members of the Royal Family are appointed as GCVOs within the Order for rendering personal service to The Queen.
The presentation of the honour came just a couple of days after Her Majesty missed the New Year’s Day church service at Sandringham, as she continued to recover from a heavy cold.
This followed the monarch having to miss the annual Christmas Day church service at Sandringham this year due to her recovering from a heavy cold.
Her Majesty has been known to have been suffering from a cold since at least a week before Christmas Day, when she cancelled her travel arrangments to Sandringham due to a “heavy cold”.