The Royal Victorian Order, Collar
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The Royal Victorian Order was established by Queen Victoria in 1896 as a personal gift that could be conferred without approval from ministers. The British Sovereign is the head of the Order who appoints a Grand Master- normally a member of the British Royal Family. The Order is conferred in recognition of meritorious service provided to the Sovereign or other members of the Royal Family. Foreigners may be admitted to the Order, and women have been admitted since 1936. There are no limitations on membership.
Members of the first class are entitled to use the post-nominal letters GCVO, members of the second class are entitled to use the post-nominal letters KCVO or DCVO, members of the third class are entitled to use the post-nominal letters CVO, members of the fourth class are entitled to use the post-nominal letters LVO, and Members are entitled to use the post-nominal letters MVO. Recipients of the Medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters RVM. Members of the first and second classes are also entitled to use the formal title “Knight” or “Dame.”
The motto of the Order is “VICTORIA.”
The Collar was introduced in 1912. It is worn by Knights and Dames Grand Cross on formal occasions along with a mantle, and is composed of alternating links of gold and enamel rose links and links with text. The following inscriptions appear on individual text links: VICTORIA, BRITT. REG. (Queen of the Britons), DEF. FID. (“Fidei Defensor,” Defender of the Faith), IND. IMP. (“India Imperatrix,” Empress of India). The badge appendant is suspended from a central link that features the portrait of Queen Victoria.
The Collar must be returned to the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knight following the death of the recipient.
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