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Encyclopedia > Order of the Indian Empire

The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of chivalry founded by Victoria in 1877. The Order includes members of three classes: Woman under the Safeguard of Knighthood, allegorical Scene. ... Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India from 1 May 1876, until her death on 22 January 1901. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...

The insignia of The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire.
The insignia of The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire.
  1. Knight Grand Commander (GCIE)
  2. Knight Commander (KCIE)
  3. Companion (CIE)

No appointments have been made since 1947, the year India became independent. Image File history File links Order_of_the_Indian_EmpireInsignia. ... Image File history File links Order_of_the_Indian_EmpireInsignia. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ...


The motto of the Order is Imperatricis auspiciis (Latin for "Under the auspices of the Empress"), a reference to Victoria, the first Empress of India. The Order is the junior British order of chivalry associated with the Empire of India; the senior one is The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... New Crowns for Old depicts Disraeli as Abanazer from the pantomime version of Aladdin offering Victoria an Imperial crown in exchange for a Royal one. ... The British Empire at its zenith in 1919. ... Insignia of a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India. ...

Contents

History

The Order was founded in 1877 to reward British and native officials who served in India. The Order originally had only one class (Companion), but was expanded to three classes in 1887. The Order of the Indian Empire was intended to be a less exclusive version of the Order of the Star of India (which was founded in 1861); consequently, many more appointments were made to the former than to the latter. 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ...


Appointments to both Orders ceased after 14 August 1947. The only surviving members of the Order of the Indian Empire are Elizabeth II (the Sovereign) and HH The Maharaja of Dhrangadhra (a Knight Commander). Elizabeth II is also the only surviving member of the Order of the Star of India. August 14 is the 226th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (227th in leap years), with 139 days remaining. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ...


Composition

The British Sovereign was, and still is, Sovereign of the Order. The next-most senior member was the Grand Master; the position was held, ex officio, by the Viceroy of India. Members of the first class were known as "Knights Grand Commanders," rather than "Knights Grand Cross," so as not to offend the non-Christian Indians appointed to the Order. The British Monarchy is a shared monarchy. ... The Governor-General of India (or Governor-General and Viceroy of India) was the head of the British administration in India. ...


Former Viceroys and other high officials were eligible for appointment, as were rulers of Indian Princely States. Generally, the rulers of the more important states were appointed Knights Grand Commanders of the Order of the Star of India, rather than of the Order of the Indian Empire. Women, save the princely rulers, were ineligible for appointment to the Order. Female princely rulers were, oddly, admitted as "Knights," rather than as "Dames" or "Ladies."


Vestments and accoutrements

Members of the Order wore elaborate costumes on important ceremonial occasions: Image File history File links Kie. ... Image File history File links Kie. ... Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya (other spellings include Visweswaraiah, Vishweshwariah and Vishweshwarayya; popularly known as Sir M.V.) (September 15, 1860–April 12, 1962), was an eminent Indian engineer and statesman. ...

  • The mantle, worn only by Knights Grand Commanders, was made of dark blue satin lined with white silk. On the left side was a representation of the star (see below).
  • The collar, also worn only by Knights Grand Commanders, was made of gold. It was composed of alternating golden elephants, Indian roses and peacocks.

At less important occasions, simpler insignia were used:

  • The star, worn only by Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders, had ten points, including rays of gold and silver for Knights Grand Commanders, and of plain silver for Knights Commanders. In the centre was an image of Victoria surrounded by a dark blue ring with the motto and surmounted by a crown.
  • The badge was worn by Knights Grand Commanders on a dark blue riband, or sash, passing from the right shoulder to the left hip, and by Knights Commanders and Companions from a dark blue ribbon around the neck. It included a five-petalled crown-surmounted red flower, with the image of Victoria surrounded by a dark blue ring with the motto at the centre.

Unlike the insignia of most other British chivalric orders, the insignia of the Order of the Indian Empire did not incorporate crosses, as they were deemed unacceptable to the Indian Princes appointed to the Order.


Precedence and privileges

Members of all classes of the Order were assigned positions in the order of precedence. Wives of members of all classes also featured on the order of precedence, as did sons, daughters and daughters-in-law of Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders. (See order of precedence in England and Wales for the exact positions.) The Order of precedence in England and Wales as of 12 April 2006: Names in italics indicate higher precedence elsewhere in the table: e. ...


Knights Grand Commanders used the post-nominal "GCIE," Knights Commanders "KCIE" and Companions "CIE." Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders prefixed "Sir" to their forenames. Wives of Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders could prefix "Lady" to their surnames. Such forms were not used by peers and Indian princes, except when the names of the former were written out in their fullest forms.


Knights Grand Commanders were also entitled to receive heraldic supporters. They could, furthermore, enircle their arms with a depiction of the circlet (a circle bearing the motto) and the collar; the former is shown either outside or on top of the latter. Knights Commanders and Companions were permitted to display the circlet, but not the collar, surrounding their arms. The badge is depicted suspended from the collar or circlet.

British honours system
Current Orders
Garter | Thistle | Bath | St Michael and St George | Distinguished Service | Royal Victorian | Merit | Imperial Service | British Empire | Companions of Honour
Old Orders

St Patrick | Royal Guelphic | Star of India | Indian Empire | British India | Indian Merit | Crown of India | Victoria and Albert | Burma The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals personal bravery, achievement or service to the United Kingdom. ... The insignia of a knight of the Order of the Garter. ... James VII ordained the modern Order. ... Military Badge of the Order of the Bath The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. ... On the Orders insignia, St Michael is often depicted subduing Satan. ... DSO medal The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other Commonwealth countries, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. ... Victoria founded the Royal Victorian Order. ... For other Orders see Order of Merit (disambiguation). ... The Imperial Service Order was established by King Edward VII in August 1902. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order. ... The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick is an order of chivalry associated with Ireland. ... The Royal Guelphic Order was a British order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later George IV). ... Insignia of a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India. ... Order Of British India First Class Order Of British India Second Class // History The Medal was originally instituted by the East India Company on the 18th of April 1837 for long, faithful and honourable service. ... // History The medal was first introduced by the East India Company in 1837. ... The Imperial Order of the Crown of India is an order in the British honours system. ... The Royal Order of Victoria and Albert was a British Royal Family Order instituted in 1862 by Queen Victoria, and enlarged on 10 October 1864, 15 November 1865 and 15 March 1880. ...

Other Honours and Appointments
Hereditary peer | Life peer | Privy Counsellor | Baronet | Knight | St John | ADC | Other orders and decorations

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