Royal Guelphic Order

Last updated
Royal Guelphic Order
Guelphic Order grand cross insignias (Hannover 1830) - Tallinn Museum of Orders.jpg
Grand cross star, sash and badge of the Royal Guelphic Order (Civil Division)
Awarded by Kingdom of Hanover
Type House Order
Established28 April 1815
MottoNec Aspera Terrent
(Not afraid of difficulties)
Sovereign Ernst August
GradesAfter 1841
Grand Cross
Commander 1st Class
Commander 2nd Class
Cross of Merit
Former gradesOriginal
Knight Grand Cross
Knight Commander
Next (higher) Order of Saint George
Next (lower) Order of Ernst August
UK Royal Guelphic Order ribbon.svg
Ribbon of the order
Badge of the Royal Guelphic Order GuelphenOrden HoferAntikschmuckBerlin.jpg
Badge of the Royal Guelphic Order
Medal of the Order Medal of the Royal Guelphic Order, detail.png
Medal of the Order
Flag of the Electorate of Hanover, 1692. Flag of Hanover (1692).svg
Flag of the Electorate of Hanover, 1692.

The Royal Guelphic Order (German : Königliche Guelphen-Orden), sometimes referred to as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, is a Hanoverian order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later King George IV). [1] It takes its name from the House of Guelph, of which the Hanoverians were a branch. Since Hanover and the United Kingdom shared a monarch until 1837, the order was frequently bestowed upon British subjects. [2]



Until 1837 the order was frequently awarded to officers in the British Navy and Army, [3] although it was still classed as a foreign order, with British members of the order not entitled to style themselves as "Sir" unless they were also created Knights Bachelor, as many were. [4]

The British link ended in 1837 when Hanover's royal union with Great Britain ended, with Ernest Augustus becoming King of Hanover and Queen Victoria ascending the British throne. [2] When Hanover was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866, the order continued as a house order to be awarded by the Royal House of Hanover. Today, its current Sovereign is the Hanoverian head of the house, Ernst August, Prince of Hanover.[ citation needed ]


The insignia was based on the white horse on Hanover's arms.[ citation needed ]

The Order includes two divisions, Civil and Military, the latter indicated by crossed swords on both the badge and star. [3] It originally had three classes, but with several reorganisations since 1841, as house order today it has four classes and an additional Cross of Merit. In descending order of seniority the classes are:


Holders of the respective degrees of the order in Britain were entitled to be post-nominally addressed with the initials, which stand for Knight Grand Cross of Hanover, Knight Commander of Hanover and Knight of Hanover. The initial GCG was also used, and was cited in the original statutes of the order. [5]

Gold and silver medals were attached to the order, for award to those not eligible for the order itself, including non commissioned officers and royal servants. [3]

After 1841

The Order


The Order has six officers: the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar, the King of Arms, the Genealogist, and the Secretary.

Officers until 1837

The first six officers were:

Officers since 1987


List of Knights of the Royal Guelphic Order

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of the British Empire</span> British order of chivalry

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of the order.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge</span> Duke of Cambridge (more)

Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, was the tenth child and seventh son of the British king George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He held the title of Duke of Cambridge from 1801 until his death. He also served as Viceroy of Hanover on behalf of his brothers George IV and William IV.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of the Bath</span> British order of chivalry established 1725

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George V of Hanover</span> King of Hanover

George V was the last King of Hanover, the only child and successor of King Ernest Augustus. George V's reign was ended by the Austro-Prussian War, after which Prussia annexed Hanover.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of St Michael and St George</span> British order of chivalry established 1818

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince of Wales, while he was acting as prince regent for his father, King George III.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover</span> Crown Prince of Hanover

Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, was the eldest child and only son of George V of Hanover and his wife, Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. Ernest Augustus was deprived of the thrones of Hanover upon its annexation by Prussia in 1866 and later the Duchy of Brunswick in 1884. Although he was the most senior male-line descendant of George I, II, and III, the Duke of Cumberland was deprived of his British peerages and honours for having sided with Germany in World War I. Ernest Augustus was the last Hanoverian prince to hold a British royal title and the Order of the Garter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of Saint John (chartered 1888)</span> British royal order of chivalry constituted in 1888

The Order of St John, short for Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem and also known as St John International, is a British royal order of chivalry constituted in 1888 by royal charter from Queen Victoria and dedicated to St John the Baptist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick</span> 20th-century German nobleman

Ernest Augustus was the reigning Duke of Brunswick from 2 November 1913 to 8 November 1918. He was a grandson of George V of Hanover, whom the Prussians had deposed from the Hanoverian throne in 1866, and a maternal grandson of Christian IX of Denmark.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of the Dannebrog</span> Danish order of chivalry

The Order of the Dannebrog is a Danish order of chivalry instituted in 1671 by Christian V. Until 1808, membership in the order was limited to fifty members of noble or royal rank, who formed a single class known as White Knights to distinguish them from the Blue Knights who were members of the Order of the Elephant. In 1808, the Order was reformed and divided into four classes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hugh Halkett</span>

General Baron Hugh Halkett, GCH, CB, was a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars and later a general of infantry in the Hanoverian service.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of the Red Eagle</span> Award

The Order of the Red Eagle was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to both military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership, long and faithful service to the kingdom, or other achievements. As with most German orders, the Order of the Red Eagle could only be awarded to commissioned officers or civilians of approximately equivalent status. However, there was a medal of the order, which could be awarded to non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, lower ranking civil servants and other civilians.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of the Sword</span> Swedish order of chivalry and military decoration

The Royal Order of the Sword is a Swedish order of chivalry and military decoration created by King Frederick I of Sweden on February 23, 1748, together with the Order of the Seraphim and the Order of the Polar Star.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House and Merit Order of Peter Frederick Louis</span>

The House and Merit Order of Duke Peter Frederick Louis or proper German Oldenburg House and Merit Order of Duke Peter Frederick Louis was a civil and military order of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, a member state of the German Empire. The order was founded by Grand Duke Augustus of Oldenburg on 27 November 1838, to honor his father, Peter Frederick Louis of Oldenburg. It became obsolete in 1918 after the abdication of the last grand duke.

General Sir John Smith was a British army general. In his early career as a Royal Artillery officer he fought in the American War of Independence, being twice captured and imprisoned by the Americans. In his later career Smith was involved in expanding the British Empire in the West Indies by protecting its trade routes, helped keep control of the islands of Gibraltar and Madeira and commanded various artillery regiments.

Lieutenant-General Sir James Frederick Lyon was a distinguished officer of the British Army who served as Governor of Barbados from 1829 to 1833.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of Ernst August</span>

The Order of Ernst August was founded 15 December 1865 by King George V of Hanover in memory of his father Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover. The order was awarded for both civil and military merit. It was divided in five classes:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of Henry the Lion</span>

The House Order of Henry the Lion In German: Hausorden Heinrichs des Löwen, was the House Order of the Duchy of Brunswick. It was instituted by William VIII, Duke of Brunswick on 25 April 1834. The ribbon of the Order was red with yellow edges. It had five grades: Grand Cross, Grand Commander with Sash, Commander, Knight 1st Class, Knight 2nd Class, plus Medal of Merit for Science and Arts, the Cross of Merit and the Medal of Honour. The Order was named in honour of Henry the Lion, who remains a popular figure to this day.


  1. Robertson, Megan C. (2 April 2007). "United Kingdom: The Royal Guelphic Order". Medals of the World.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Mussell, John, ed. (2014). The Medal Yearbook 2015. Devon, UK: Token Publishing Ltd. p. 56. ISBN   9781908828163.
  3. 1 2 3 Captain H. Taprell Dorling. Ribbons and Medals. pp. 31–32. A.H.Baldwin & Sons, London. 1956.
  4. "No. 18907". The London Gazette . 24 February 1832. p. 414. Examples of KCH's created Knight Batchelor.
  5. Disbrowe, Charlotte Anne Albinia (1903). Old Days in Diplomacy : Recollections of a Closed Century, by the Eldest Daughter of the late Sir Edward Cromwell Disbrowe, G.C.G. p 17. London.