List of Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order appointed by Victoria

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The embroidered star of an English order of Knighthood, with radiating silver rays, topped with a white Maltese cross and royal cypher in the centre
The star of a Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

The Royal Victorian Order is an order of knighthood awarded by the sovereign of the United Kingdom and several Commonwealth realms. It is granted personally by the monarch and recognises personal service to the monarchy, the Royal Household, royal family members, and the organisation of important royal events.[1][2] The order was officially created and instituted on 23 April 1896 by letters patent under the Great Seal of the Realm by Queen Victoria.[3] It was instituted with five grades, Knight Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight Commander (KCVO), Commander (CVO), Member (fourth class) and Member (fifth class), the last two of which were abbreviated to MVO. The two highest conferred the status of knighthood on holders; in 1984, the grade of Member (fourth class) was renamed Lieutenant (LVO), and holders of the fifth grade became Members.[4] Women were not admitted until 1936; those receiving the highest two awards were styled Dames and those grades, when conferred on women, are Dame Grand Cross and Dame Commander (DCVO).[5] The order could also be conferred on foreigners, who were typically appointed to honorary grades and were thus not entitled to the styles, such as Sir and Dame, associated with ordinary grades.[6][7]

Queen Victoria, an elderly woman dressed in black.
Queen Victoria (reigned 1837—1901)

No limit was placed on the number of appointments which could be made.[8] The first two appointments were to Queen Victoria's sons, Albert, Prince of Wales, and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, who both received the highest grade on 6 May 1896. The first honorary GCVO to be appointed was Arsène Henry, the Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, France, two days later. Queen Victoria appointed 19 Knights Grand Cross, plus an additional 28 honorary Knights Grand Cross, between the order's institution and her death on 22 January 1901; of those 19, six were to Princes of the United Kingdom—her own children, grandchildren or other close relatives—and a further seven to those already holding a peerage.[9]

The foreign appointments included 14 Germans, six Russians, two Frenchmen, and one Austro-Hungarian, Chinese, Dane, Egyptian, Montenegrin and Spanish citizens. The King of Spain, Emperor of Germany and Prince of Montenegro were among them, along with several German princes and courtiers from Russia and Germany. Five honorary appointments were made to mark the Coronation of Nicholas II of Russia in 1896 and four to mark the occasion of the German Emperor's visit to England in 1899.[9]

Appointed by Queen Victoria

The list below is ordered by date of appointment. Full names, styles, ranks and titles are given where applicable, as correct at the time of appointment to the order. Branch of service or regiment details are given in parentheses to distinguish them from offices. The offices listed are those given in the official notice, printed in the London Gazette. Where applicable, the occasion is given that was listed either with the notices or in published material elsewhere, in which case that material is cited.

  •       This along with a * indicates that the appointment was Honorary.
Name Country Date of appointment Office Occasion Notes
Field Marshal His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Prince of Wales United Kingdom 6 May 1896 [10]
General His Royal Highness Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught United Kingdom 6 May 1896 [10]
Arsène Henry* France 8 May 1896 Préfet des Alpes Maritimes Queen's visit to Cimiez, Nice [11][12]
The Most Noble William John Arthur Charles James Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland United Kingdom 25 May 1896 Master of the Horse [13]
The Rt Hon. Sidney Herbert, 14th Earl of Pembroke and 11th Earl of Montgomery United Kingdom 25 May 1896 Lord Steward of the Household [13]
The Rt Hon. Charles John Colville, 10th Baron Colville of Culross KT United Kingdom 25 May 1896 Chamberlain to HRH Alexandra, Princess of Wales [13]
General Sir Dighton MacNaghten Probyn VC KCB KCSI United Kingdom 25 May 1896 Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household of HRH Albert, Prince of Wales [14]
Count Illarion Ivanovich Vorontsov-Dashkov* Russian Empire 30 May 1896 Minister of the Imperial Court, Adjutant-General and General of Cavalry Emperor of Russia's coronation [12][15]
General Otto de Richter* Russian Empire 30 May 1896 Commandant of the Imperial Headquarters, General Adjutant and General of the Infantry [12][15]
Count Constantine Pahlen* Russian Empire 30 May 1896 Secretary of State, Actual Privy Councillor and Arch Grand Marshal [12][15]
Prince Alexis Dolgorouky* Russian Empire 30 May 1896 Grand Master of the Ceremonies [12][15]
Major-General Prince Dmitri Galitzin* Russian Empire 30 May 1896 (Caucasian Cossacks of the Line), in the staff of Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia [12][15]
The Rt Hon. William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin United Kingdom 7 July 1896 [16]
Count Joachim Moltke* Denmark 21 July 1896 Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, and Chamberlain to the King of Denmark The wedding of Prince Carl of Denmark and Princess Maud of Wales [12][17]
His Excellency Li Hongzhang* Chinese Empire 5 August 1896 Emperor of China's mission [12][18]
Count Paul Benkendarf KCVO* Russian Empire 31 October 1896 Master of the Household of the Emperor of Russia Emperor of Russia's visit to Queen Victoria [12][19]
His Excellency Count Götz Burkhard Seckendorff* German Empire 6 March 1897 Comptroller of the Household of the German Empress [12][20]
His Highness Nicholas I, Prince of Montenegro* Montenegro 26 March 1897 [12][21]
Lieutenant-General Edward von Müller* German Empire 28 March 1897 Inspector-General of Rifles, Berlin The Duke of Connaught's visit to Berlin [22][23]
His Serene Highness Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg* German Empire 26 April 1897 [23][24]
Captain His Royal Highness Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert, Duke of York KG KT PC United Kingdom 30 June 1897 [25]
Field Marshal His Royal Highness Prince George William Frederick Charles, Duke of Cambridge KG KT KP GCB GCSI GCMG GCIE PC ADC United Kingdom 30 June 1897 [25]
His Highness Prince Albert John Charles Frederick George of Schleswig-Holstein United Kingdom 30 June 1897 [25]
His Highness Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander of Schleswig-Holstein, Duke of Teck United Kingdom 30 June 1897 [25]
General The Rt. Hon. Richard William Penn Curzon-Howe, 3rd Earl Howe CB United Kingdom 30 June 1897 [25]
The Rt. Hon. William Henry Edgcumbe, 4th Earl of Mount Edgcumbe United Kingdom 30 June 1897 [25]
Count Arthur August von Mensdorff-Pouilly* Austro-Hungarian Empire 30 June 1897 [25]
His Majesty Alfonso XIII, King of Spain* Spain 28 July 1897 [26]
His Serene Highness Emich Edward Charles, the Hereditary Prince of Leiningen German Empire 8 September 1898 [27]
General François de Négrier* France 26 August 1898 Membre du Conseil Supérieur de la Guerre, Inspecteur d'Armée The Duke of Connaught's attendance at the recent French Military Manoeuvres [28]
Major His Highness Prince Christian Victor Albert Louis Ernest Anthony of Schleswig-Holstein German Empire 8 December 1898 (King's Royal Rifle Corps) [29]
His Royal Highness Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, Reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT KP GCB GCSI GCMG GCIE PC United Kingdom 24 May 1899 [30]
His Royal Highness Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert of Connaught and Strathearn United Kingdom 24 May 1899 [30]
His Royal Highness Prince Joachim Karl Wilhelm Fredrich Leopold of Prussia* German Empire 29 September 1899 [31]
His Imperial Majesty Wilhelm II, German Emperor, King of Prussia* German Empire 21 November 1899 [32]
Count Bernhard Heinrich Karl Martin von Bülow* German Empire 23 November 1899 Foreign Secretary of the German Empire German Emperor's visit to Queen Victoria [23][33]
Count August zu Eulenburg* German Empire 23 November 1899 Grand Marshal of the Court of the German Emperor [23][33]
General Hans Georg Hermann von Plessen* German Empire 23 November 1899 Aide-de-camp general of the Emperor of Germany and Commandant of the Headquarters Staff [23][33]
Admiral Baron Gustav von Senden-Bibran* German Empire 23 November 1899 Admiral à la suite of the German Emperor and Chief of the Marine Cabinet [23][33]
Gustavus Ernest, Count of Erbach-Schonberg KCVO* German Empire 31 March 1900 Colonel à la suite of the Grand Ducal Hessian Army [23][34]
Freiherr August von Woellwarth-Lauterburg* German Empire 31 March 1900 Chamberlain and Grand Marshal (Oberhofmarschall) of the Court of the King of Württemberg, Colonel à la suite of the Army  — [23][34]
Lieutenant-General Sir George Stewart White VC GCB GCSI GCIE German Empire 7 May 1900 On his return from active service in South Africa [23][35]
His Highness Abbas Pasha, Khedive of Egypt GCB GCMG* Egypt 28 June 1900 His visit to Queen Victoria at Windsor [36][37]
His Serene Highness Henry XXX, Prince Reuss* German Empire 16 July 1900 [38]
The Rt. Hon. John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun KT GCMG United Kingdom 19 September 1900 Governor General of Australia, late Lord Chamberlain to Queen Victoria [39][40]
His Excellency General Gustav Carl Heinrich Ferdinand Emil von Arnim* German Empire 20 December 1900 à la suite of the Guard, Jäger Battalion [37][41]
His Excellency Lieutenant-General Gustav von Kessel* German Empire 18 January 1901 Aide-de-Camp general of the German Emperor Duke of Connaught's visit to Berlin for the Bicentenary of the foundation of the Kingdom of Prussia [37][42]

See also




  1. "Royal Victorian Order", (accessed 16 August 2014).[dead link]
  2. "Royal Victorian Order", (accessed 16 August 2014)
  3. The London Gazette, issue 26733, p. 2455
  4. McCreery, 2008, p. 29
  5. Duckers, 2004, p. 38
  6. Honorary Knighthood, (accessed on 20 August 2014).
  7. Knighthood, (accessed on 20 August 2014).[dead link]
  8. McCreery, 2008, pp. 28-29
  9. 9.0 9.1 A complete list of those receiving the GCVO during Queen Victoria's reign may be found in Shaw, 1906, pp. 417-419, and those being appointed honorary GCVO at ibid., pp. 422-424.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The London Gazette, issue 26737, p. 2728
  11. The London Gazette, issue 26740, p. 2988
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 Shaw, 1906, p. 422
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The London Gazette, issue 26743, p. 3123
  14. The London Gazette, issue 26743, p. 3124
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 The London Gazette, issue 26755, p. 3853
  16. The London Gazette, issue 26758, p. 4025
  17. The London Gazette, issue 26762, p. 4285
  18. The London Gazette, issue 26769, p. 4692
  19. The London Gazette, issue 26791, p. 6006
  20. The London Gazette, issue 26831, p. 1469
  21. The London Gazette, issue 26839, p. 1945
  22. The London Gazette, issue 26838, p. 1881
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 23.7 23.8 Shaw, 1906, p. 423
  24. The London Gazette, issue 26851, p. 2692
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 The London Gazette, issue 26871, p. 3819
  26. The London Gazette, issue 26880, p. 4422
  27. The London Gazette, issue 27007, p. 5599
  28. The London Gazette, issue 27020, p. 6451
  29. The London Gazette, issue 27032, p. 8045
  30. 30.0 30.1 The London Gazette, issue 27083, p. 3335
  31. The London Gazette, issue 27125, p. 6114
  32. The London Gazette, issue 27139, p. 7929
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 The London Gazette, issue 27140, p. 8089
  34. 34.0 34.1 The London Gazette, issue 27181, p. 2345
  35. The London Gazette, issue 27192, p. 3070
  36. The London Gazette, issue 27208, p. 4195
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Shaw, 1906, p. 424
  38. The London Gazette, issue 27212, p. 4510
  39. The London Gazette, issue 27237, p. 6252
  40. Shaw, 1906, p. 418
  41. The London Gazette, issue 27264, p. 157
  42. The London Gazette, issue 27279, p. 694