Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Royal Guelphic Order
The Royal Guelphic Order, sometimes also referred to as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, was a British order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later George IV). 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 has however 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 to be awarded by the Royal House of Hanover. Prince Ernst August married to Princess Caroline of Monaco is still able to award this honour in his capacity as Head of the Royal House 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.
The Order included two Divisions, Civil and Military. Its three classes, in descending order of seniority, were:

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

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