Medal for Native Chiefs, Gold Medal (1953-1955)
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The Medal for Native Chiefs was established by Royal Warrant in 1920 as the King’s Medal for Native Chiefs. It follows in a long tradition of gift-giving in the British Empire in which medals were bestowed upon Chiefs to gain favour in overseas colonies. The name of the Medal was later changed to the Queen’s Medal for Native Chiefs after the ascension of Elizabeth II to the British throne in 1952.
The Gold Medal was presented to Chiefs and native dignitaries in British colonies in recognition of loyal service to the Crown. It was ordered to be returned to the appropriate Governor upon the death of the recipient unless an exception had been made by the Crown. In any case, the medal was never to be worn by anyone other than the original recipient.
There are multiple versions of the Medal that differ in the obverse engraving and inscription according to the Sovereign. From 1920-1955 the medal was large and worn on a chain composed of alternating links of Tudor roses, Imperial crowns, and royal monograms. There is an additional version that was introduced in 1955 that is smaller in size and worn on a breast ribbon.
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