Royal Guelphic Order, IV Class Cross (with GR MDCCCXV cypher)
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The Order was instituted by King George IV (at the time the Prince Regent of Great Britain) on August 12, 1815, which was not only his father George III’s birthday, but was also the 101st anniversary of first Hanoverian monarch, George I, ascending the English throne.
The Order was named after the House of Guelph, of which the Hanoverians were a branch.
The Award was conferred upon individuals for distinguished service to the United Kingdom or the Kingdom of Hanover.
The Grand Master of the Order was always the King of Hanover, and the number of members in the Order was unlimited.
From 1815 to 1841, the Award was issued in three classes: Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander and Knight.
From 1841 onward, the Award was issued in five classes: Knight Grand Cross, I Class Commander, II Class Commander, Knight and Cross of Merit.
The grades of this Order were conferred in two divisions, the Military Division and the Civil Division. The Military Division awards feature crossed swords, while the Civil Division awards do not have swords.
The Order stopped being issued by the British Crown following the death of King William IV in 1837, at which time the union between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Hanover ended.
The Order continues to be awarded today and the head of the Hanoverian House, Prince Ernst August is the current chancellor.
The IV Class Cross was also known as the Cross of Merit.
The IV Class Crosses vary by the monogram on the reverse.
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