Our collection includes ceremonial insignia of the Orders of Knighthood such as the Order of the Garter – King George III diamond star worn by Prince Albert and the Order of the Garter – Queen Victoria’s sash badge of the Lesser George. In the past knighthoods were only awarded for military merits – today it recognises contribution to national life.
A knighthood is one of the highest honours an individual in England can achieve. A knighthood cannot be bought,
King George IV started the formal practice of presenting family orders, or portraits of the sovereign set in diamonds suspended from a ribbon.
Before 1820, the sovereigns portrait set into a jewelled frame had been worn by both ladies and gentlemen of the Court, and especially by female members of the Royal Family.
George IV’s successors continued this practice with most sovereigns presenting portraits of themselves suspended on different coloured ribbons for each monarch.
Today the Family Orders are only worn by female members of the Royal Family. More than one order can be worn at a time