Royal Guelphic Order

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Royal Guelphic Order
GuelphenOrden HoferAntikschmuckBerlin.jpg
Badge of the Royal Guelphic Order
Awarded by
Flag of Hanover 1837-1866.svg
Kingdom of Hanover
Type House Order
Motto Nec Aspera Terrent
(Not afraid of difficulties)
Grand Master Ernst August V
Grades (w/ post-nominals) After 1841
Grand Cross
Commander 1st Class
Commander 2nd Class
Cross of Merit
Former grades Original
Knight Grand Cross
Knight Commander
Established 28 April 1815
Next (higher) Order of St. George (Hanover)
Next (lower) Order of Ernst August
Royal Guelphic Order.png
Ribbon of the order
Star and badge of a Commander 1st Class.

The Royal Guelphic Order (German: Guelphen-Orden), sometimes also 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] Named for the House of Guelph, of whom of the Hanoverians were a branch, it has not been conferred by the British Crown since the death of King William IV in 1837, when the personal union of the United Kingdom and Hanover ended.

It continued to be conferred by the Kingdom of Hanover as an independent state and subsequently. After the defeat and forced dissolution of the Kingdom of Hanover by the Kingdom of Prussia, the order continued as a house order to be awarded by the Royal House of Hanover. Today, its current chancellor is the Hanoverian head of the house, Ernst August, Prince of Hanover. The honour is named after the House of Guelph to which the Hanoverian kings belonged, and its insignia were based on the white horse of that kingdom's arms.

In the United Kingdom it has always been regarded as a foreign order, and even before 1837 members of the order were not entitled to style themselves as "Sir" unless they were also created Knights Bachelor, as many were.


The Order includes two Divisions, Civil and Military. It originally had three classes, but with several reorganizations since 1841, as house order today it has four classes and an additional Cross of Merit. In descending order of seniority, are:


  • Knight Grand Cross (GCH)
  • Knight Commander (KCH)
  • Knight (KH)

(Holders of the respective degrees of the order in Britain were entitled to be postnominally addressed with the initials, which stand for Knight Grand Cross of Hanover, Knight Commander of Hanover and Knight of Hanover.)

After 1841

  • Grand Cross
  • Commander 1st Class
  • Commander 2nd Class
  • Knight
  • Cross of Merit

The Order


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

Officers until 1837

The first six officers were:

Officers since 1987

Notable members

See also

Flag of the Electorate of Hanover, 1692


  1. United Kingdom: The Royal Guelphic Order. Medals of the World, Megan C. Robertson. 2 April 2007

External links

Media related to Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. at Wikimedia Commons

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