Star and Riband of a
Knight Grand Cross
of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint
Robert Baden-Powell, G.C.M.G.
From: Baden-Powell, Lessons from the Varsity of
On our return home
in 1927 I was surprised by the King conferring upon
me the high honour of the Grand Cross of St. Michael
and St. George.
As I have shown
elsewhere I had more than oncein fact three
times I believebeen recommended for the C.M.G.
(Companion of St. Michael and St. George, or
nicknamed " Colonial Made Gentleman ") for
services in Ashanti, Swaziland, and Matabeleland
respectively. These having been denied naturally
provoked the desire for this Order, though as a rule
I have no liking for Orders (and consequently find
myself plastered with them). But the C.M.G. I did
covet. And here I found myself suddenly invested with
the Grand Cross.
I wrote very baldly
to the King's Private Secretary, who was a personal
friend, telling my delight and my reason for it and I
believe he went and showed my letter to His Majesty.
This was scarcely fair on me but at any rate it told
truthfully my appreciation.
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and
Saint George. British order of knighthood
founded in 1818 by the prince regent, later King
George IV, to commemorate the British protectorate
over the Ionian islands and Malta, which came under
British rule in 1814.
membership was exclusively for the inhabitants of the
Ionian islands and Malta, as well as for British
citizens who had performed important government
services in the Mediterranean area. Since 1879 any
citizen of the United Kingdom has been eligible;
however, it is an honour conferred mostly on
officials in colonial affairs, foreign-service
officers and diplomats, and others who have performed
important duties in Commonwealth countries.
Foreigners can be admitted as "honorary
IV instituted the three classes of knights of the
order, which (in descending order of rank) are knight
grand cross or dame grand cross (G.C.M.G.), knight
commander or dame commander (K.C.M.G. or D.C.M.G.,
respectively), and companion (C.M.G.). Membership is
limited to 120 knights grand cross, 390 knights
commanders, and 1,775 companions. Conferment of the
two highest classes of the order entails admission
into knighthood. The order's officers are prelate,
chancellor, secretary, king of arms, registrar, and
gentleman usher of the Blue Rod.
chapel of the order, dedicated in 1906, is in St.
Paul's Cathedral, London, and contains the banners
and coats of arms of the knights grand cross. The
order's badge depicts St. Michael encountering the
devil, emblazoned with the order's motto Auspicium
melioris aevi ("Augury of a better age");
the other side portrays St. George and the dragon.
of Saint Michael and Saint George." Britannica
[May 24, 1997]
ribbon on the left displays the colors of the Order.
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Please write to: Lewis P. Orans
© Lewis P. Orans, 1997
Last Modified: 10:10 AM on May 18, 1997