Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee. (United States Air Force/Public Domain)
A few days ago, Prince Harry of Wales was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. (The press release calls him Prince Henry of Wales, which is his birth name. Harry is the nickname that has been used his entire life.) Below is some information on the Royal Victorian Order from the last time I posted about it (when Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, received her Dame Grand Cross in 2012):
“The Royal Victorian Order is one of the few orders of chivalry still awarded by the Queen’s sole discretion, and she doesn’t just hand them out. Generally, recipients of the RVO are people who have served the Sovereign in some personal capacity – they have been diplomats who organized a State Visit, members of the royal household, and members of the Royal Family. However, not every member of the Royal Family automatically receives an RVO, though most of the more prominent members have: current Knights and Dames Grand Cross include The Dukes and Duchesses of Kent and Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, The Earl of Snowdon (Princess Margaret’s husband), and Prince Michael of Kent. In the Queen’s more immediate family, The Princess Royal, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Andrew The Duke of York, and now The Duchess of Cornwall have received the honor.”
Because the RVO is given by Queen Elizabeth’s prerogative, she doesn’t have to give any reasons for the honor beyond “for services to the Sovereign,” but it is speculated that it is to acknowledge Harry’s extremely successful state visits over the last few years (including trips to Belize, the Bahamas, and Jamaica; Brazil; the United States; Estonia; and Australia and New Zealand), his work with wounded and injured military personnel*, and his creation of the Invictus Games, an international Paralympic-style sports event for wounded, sick, or injured service personnel and veterans.
This means that the next time Harry makes an appearance in full uniform (potentially at next weekend’s Trooping the Colour), he will have a new
collar and star to affix to his uniform. Kensington Palace tweeted this picture of Harry’s new awards.
*This includes patronage of Walking with the Wounded’s expeditions to the North Pole, South Pole (which Harry joined, becoming the first British royal to reach the South Pole), and Mount Everest.
Correction (6/11/15): This article previously said that Prince Harry had received a sash and star. Recent photos of Prince Harry at the Camp Bastion Memorial dedication have shown that it’s actually a collar and star. The article has been changed to reflect this. Oops.