Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (G.C.I.E.)
The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire
Originally this Order consisted of Companions only, but was then enlarged in 1887 to the three traditional classes. This was the second of the Indian orders founded by Queen Victoria when she adopted the title “Empress of India.” Hence the motto 'Imperatricis auspicus” –“Under the auspices of the Empress.”
The Order was discontinued in 1947 due to independence being granted to India and Pakistan; the Order is the fourth and final British Order which has been discontinued owing to political reasons, the others being the Orders of St Patrick, Guelphic and Star of India.
The design of the Order, like the Star of India, came about as it was necessary to omit a cross, which is the traditional basis for the designs of British orders. A cross would not have been accepted by the non-Christian recipients and, consequently, unlike other orders, it did not have a patron saint. The Order was intended to serve as a junior award to the Order of the Star of India, a certain proportion of the Indian Empire Order was awarded to officers of the two services. The third-class badge of this Order, like all other orders, was worn on the breast. the same way as a medal, but in 1917 it was altered for wear around the neck.
From: Spink's Catalogue of British and Associated Orders, Decorations and Medals, 1983.