Orders of Chivalry

Ede & Ravenscroft has made mantles for the nation’s orders of chivalry since 1689.

About Orders of Chivalry

The orders of chivalry conjure up tales of courage and devotion. In medieval times monarchs rewarded loyal supporters for gallantry in battle with gifts of land, money or titles as a mark of distinction. As the centuries passed selected loyal and brave subjects were awarded knighthoods. Knights would receive a chain of honour, or collar.

These awards form the basis of today’s orders of chivalry. Ede and Ravenscroft has made mantles for the nation’s orders of chivalry since 1689.

In order of seniority, the six British orders of chivalry are:

  • The Most Noble Order of the Garter
  • The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle
  • The Most Honourable Order of The Bath
  • The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George
  • The Royal Victorian Order
  • The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

His Royal Highness Prince Charles wearing the regalia of a Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter


The Most Noble Order of the Garter

THE MOST ANCIENT AND MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE THISTLE

Established in 1687 by His Majesty King James II of England and VII of Scotland. This is the highest honour awarded by the Sovereign in Scotland. The mantle is of dark green silk velvet lined with white silk taffeta and a silver and gold hand embroidered badge on the left breast.

In the badge’s centre sits the Order’s emblem: the thistle, circled by the motto, “Nemo me impune lacessit”. ‘No one provokes me with impunity’. A blue velvet hood is attached to the right shoulder, and the mantle is fastened with green and gold embroidered cordons. The Order’s gold enamelled collar is attached to the mantle with white silk satin bows.

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath

THE MOST DISTINGUISHED ORDER OF ST MICHAEL AND ST GEORGE

In 1814 Great Britain enjoyed an important victory over Napoleon’s forces, gaining control of Malta and the Ionian islands. Much credit for the victory was down to brave and loyal Maltese and Ionian islanders. In 1818 the Prince Regent instituted the new order- The Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.

By 1864 the Order was bestowed on a wider range of British subjects. Today diplomats and other members of the Foreign Office or loyal subjects who have offered valuable service connected to Commonwealth or foreign affairs may be privileged enough to receive the Order.

The emblem depicts the Archangel St. Michael clasping a sword and trampling on Satan. The motto reads: “ Auspicum Melioris Aevi” ‘Token of a better Age’.The mantle is in Saxon-blue satin, lined with scarlet silk taffeta. On the left breast sits a gold and silver hand embroidered badge. A centrepiece features an enamelled plate with the Order’s emblem and motto. The mantle is fastened at the front with embroidered cordons of blue, red and gold. The collar is attached with silk satin shoulder bows.

The Royal Victorian Order

THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

In 1917 His Majesty King George V instituted The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It has been called ‘the people’s order of chivalry’. 

Since the Order’s foundation, Ede & Ravenscroft has made its mantle of rose-pink satin lined with pearl-grey silk taffeta. The star of the Order is hand embroidered in silver and gold on the left breast. In its centre sits the crowned effigies of His Majesty King George V and Her Majesty Queen Mary. Its gold inscribed motto reads, “For God and Empire”.

The mantle closes at the front with cordons of pearl-grey silk, with rose and silver tassels. A gold collar is fastened with white and silk satin shoulder bows.

The Six British Orders of Chivalry

The Most Noble Order of the Garter

The robes of the Order are magnificent. They feature the Blue Garter and Garter Mantle. Fashioned from deep blue silk velvet lined with white silk taffeta, a hand embroidered gold badge on the left breast displays the cross of St. George, encircled by the motto: “Honi soit qui mal y pense” ‘Dishonoured be he who thinks evil of it’.

A crimson silk velvet hood drapes over the right shoulder. Gold and blue embroidered cordons seal the Mantle at the front.

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle

The Most Honourable order of the Bath

Becoming a knight during medieval time was rite of passage. In preparation for his investiture a would-be knight would take a bath and hold a solitary vigil in silent prayer: cleansing both body and soul. From this comes the title for the Order of the Bath.

During the 18th century it became the highest military honour, prized by all who received it, including Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.

The Order has three classes: Knights Grand Cross, Knights Commander, and Companions. Each class has a military and civil division.

The Order’s emblem is three gold crowns within a circle surrounded by the motto, “Tria Juncta in Uno” ‘Three joined in one’.

The mantles are crimson silk satin lined with white silk taffeta. A silver and gold hand embroidered badge on the left breast bears the Order's emblem and motto. The mantles are hoodless and closed at the neck using cloth cordons with crimson and gold tassels. The collars are attached to the mantle with white silk bows on the shoulder.

The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George

The Royal Victorian Order

Instituted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1896, the Sovereign awards this Order for personal service.

Since its foundation, Ede & Ravenscroft has made mantles of dark blue silk satin edged with red silk satin and lined with white taffeta.

On the left breast sits a hand-embroidered gold and silver badge with the emblem of a white eight-pointed Maltese Cross and Queen Victoria’s royal monograph at the centre. Its motto reads, “Victoria”. A hood is attached to the right shoulder. The mantle closes at the front with blue and gold embroidered cordons. The gold collar is attached with white silk satin shoulder bows.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire