07 March 2012

The Collar, Badge, and Mantle of the Order of the British Empire

The Collar and Badge of the Order of the British Empire, worn over the Mantle
The Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry founded in 1917 by King George V. The gold collar has plaques of the Royal Arms alternating with plaques of the Royal and Imperial Cypher of George V. Between these elements are gold cords with lions and crowns depicted. Suspended from the collar is the badge, a blue cross with a center showing King George and Queen Mary surrounded by the Order's motto, "For God and the Empire", in red. Click here to see the Queen's collar at the Royal Collection.
The Mantle
Both the collar and the badge are worn by The Queen at the service of the Order, held every four years at St. Paul's Cathedral. For this service, The Queen also wears the mantle, a robe of rose red satin lined with pearl gray silk taffeta with the Star of the Order on the left breast. There are gray cords with pink and gray tassels to close mantle, and the collar is suspended between two white shoulder bows. As Sovereign of the Order, The Queen's mantle is different, including a longer train.

In 2017, for the service of the Order coinciding with the Order's centenary, The Queen decided not to wear any of this regalia, and appeared in day dress only.

7 March 2012: Order of the British Empire Service

Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Images