Guelphian Order of Merit
|Order of Merit|
Badge of the Order of Merit
|Awarded by The Sovereign|
|Awarded for||Meritorious service to the nation and the King|
|Next (higher)||Order of Guelphia|
|Next (lower)||Royal Service Order|
Ribbon of the Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is the second order of chivalry awarded in Guelphia. The Order consists of five grades, the highest two of which confer to style and title of knighthood upon the recipient.
Since 1927, 12,955 people have been appointed to the Order of Merit.
The King of Guelphia, James II, is Sovereign of the Order and the fount from which all honours flow. The Duchess of Chandler acts as the Chancellor of the Order.
- Sovereign: HM King James II
- Chancellor: HRH The Duchess of Chandler, Dowager Consort
- Dean: The Most Rev. Dr. Michael Thomas OM
- Registrar: The Rt Hon. The Lord Manley CM
- Herald: Scott Whatley MM
The Order of Merit is divided into five grades, each with their own conditions and size of membership. The pinnacle of the order is the Knight/Dame Grand Cross, of which there are just 24 recipients at any given point in time. Aside from the recipients of the Order of Guelphia, Knights/Dames Grand Cross of the Order of Merit are considered to be the greatest living contributors to Guelphian society. Initially appointments were only announced on the 18 February, in recent years appointments to the Order have also been announced on the 8 October, originally the birthday of Philip I, and now recognised as the official Birthday of Sovereign.
|1||Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Merit||KGCM/DGCM||24 members|
|2||Knight/Dame of the Order of Merit||KM/DM||15 Knights/Dames appointed in any calendar year|
|3||Companion of the Order of Merit||CM||40 Companions appointed in any calendar year|
|4||Officer of the Order of Merit||OM||80 Officers appointed in any calendar year|
|5||Member of the Order of Merit||MM||140 Members appointed in any calendar year|
Vestments and accoutrements
Members of the Order wear a number of elaborate vestments and accoutrements on important ceremonial occasions:
- The mantle, worn only by Knights/Dames Grand Cross, is made of ultramarine blue satin lined with white silk. On the left side was a representation of the star of the Order.
- The collar, also worn only by Knights/Dames Grand Cross, is made of gold.
On certain "collar days" designated by the Sovereign, members attending formal events wore the order's collar over their military uniform, formal day dress, or evening wear. When collars were worn (either on collar days or on formal occasions such as coronations), the badge is suspended from the collar.
- The Star is an eight-pointed Brunswick star, with the Order's badge superimposed in the centre. Knight/Dames Grand Cross wear a gold star and Knight/Dame Companions wear a silver star.
- The Badge for the three highest classes is a gold and white enamel cross with curved edges bearing at its centre the coat of arms of Guelphia within a red enamel ring bearing the motto Pro Merito - A.D. MCMXXVII, topped by the Crown of Guelphia. The badge for Officers and Members are similar, but in silver-gilt and silver respectively. Knights/Dames Grand Cross wear the badge on a sash worn over the right shoulder; Knight Companions and Companions wear a neck ribbon (men) or a bow on the left shoulder (women). For Officers and Members it is worn from a ribbon on the left lapel (men) or a bow on the left shoulder (women).
The ribbon and sash are saffron yellow in colour.
Precedence and privileges
Knights/Dames Grand Cross and Knights/Dames Companion are entitled to use the style "Sir" ("Dame").
The order's statutes outline certain heraldic privileges connected to the order. Members of the top two grades are entitled to have the Order's circlet ("a saffron yellow circle, edged in powder blue, and inscribed with the Motto of the Order of the latter") surrounding their shield. Knights/Dame Grand Cross are also entitled to heraldic supporters. The Chancellor of the Order is entitled to supporters and a representation of the Collar of the Order around his/her shield.
The chapel of the Order is the King's Chapel of the Kingsbury Cathedral located in the heart of the national capital. The chapel was dedicated to the order in October 1927, having been originally constructed as an all-denominational 'state chapel' in 1922.
Installation ceremonies take place every four years, with the most recent being in October 2013. As with all orders of chivalry, a knight is allotted a stall in the quire of the chapel, with the occupant's heraldic banner displayed above his stall. Also on the back of the stall is affixed a stall plate displaying the occupant's name, arms and date of admission into the Order. When a knight dies, his banner is removed but the stall plate remains affixed as a permanent record.