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I finally went to see "King's Speech" last week. To me one of the best films I saw recently. I hope those who saw it liked it too.

Now a little riddle for GMIC fellows (not very difficult I think, except perhaps the last row): can you recognize the ribbons of Bertie's orders and medals? I can provide more photos if you need. Happy hunting!

A close-up of the ribbons:

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I have no idea, but I would like to know if they are correct.

The costumiers invariably get these things wrong. In this case he or she has assumed that there is nothing under the lapel. Consequently, the GCIE is missing.

I suppose one good thing this time is that he has stopped himself from exercising his 'creative skills' and invented something completely different.

Cheers,

James

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Ok, I'll give it a shot:

  1. Order of the Bath - Knight Grand Cross (GCB)
  2. Order of the Star of India - Knight Grand Commander (GCSI)
  3. Order of St. Michael and St. George - Knight Grand Cross (GCMG)
  4. Royal Victorian Order - Knight Grand Cross (GCVO)
  5. Order of British Empire - Knight Grand Cross (GBE) (military)
  6. 1914-1915 Star
  7. British War Medal
  8. WWI Victory Medal, w/MID
  9. Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal, 1897
  10. Edward VII Coronation Medal, 1902
  11. George V Coronation Medal, 1911
  12. George V Silver Jubilee Medal, 1935
  13. Italian Military Order of Savoy??
  14. Russian Order of St. Vladimir??
  15. French Croix de Guerre 1914 w/palm
The only ones that don't seem to make sense are the Queen Victoria Jubilee & George V Coronation medals, since George VI was born in 1895!
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Ok, I'll give it a shot:

  1. Order of the Bath - Knight Grand Cross (GCB)
  2. Order of the Star of India - Knight Grand Commander (GCSI)
  3. Order of St. Michael and St. George - Knight Grand Cross (GCMG)
  4. Royal Victorian Order - Knight Grand Cross (GCVO)
  5. Order of British Empire - Knight Grand Cross (GBE) (military)
  6. 1914-1915 Star
  7. British War Medal
  8. WWI Victory Medal, w/MID
  9. Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal, 1897
  10. Edward VII Coronation Medal, 1902
  11. George V Coronation Medal, 1911
  12. George V Silver Jubilee Medal, 1935
  13. Italian Military Order of Savoy??
  14. Russian Order of St. Vladimir??
  15. French Croix de Guerre 1914 w/palm
The only ones that don't seem to make sense are the Queen Victoria Jubilee & George V Coronation medals, since George VI was born in 1895!

All correct

The Queen Victoria Jubilee 1897, EVII and GV is ok and was on his short set of miniatures, a royal is entitled to coronation and Jubilees from birth is only hope his full sized didn't slip down his nappy as it would have some interesting toning. The Vladimir is OK he was awarded it for the Battle of Jutland in which he participated aboard H.M.S. Collingwood. I should think Jutland didn't help his stammer.

Paul

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Perfect answers all of you, including the last three ribbons!!! :jumping:

The costumiers invariably get these things wrong. In this case he or she has assumed that there is nothing under the lapel. Consequently, the GCIE is missing.

It may be true, but perhaps it is just the light. The shade of blue under the lapel where the GCIE ribbon is supposed to be (before GCVO) looks slightly different, so maybe there is something there anyway... :)

The Queen Victoria Jubilee 1897, EVII and GV is ok and was on his short set of miniatures, a royal is entitled to coronation and Jubilees from birth [...]

Indeed! The Duke of York was seven years old when he received the Edward VII Coronation Medal and just two (!) when he got Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal. I think sometimes all these coronation and jubilee medals are made for the royalty to avoid the empty space on their tunics. I once saw an official photo of HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales in the young age, wearing the sash and star of the Garter, and two miniatures: of the Order of the Bath and of the Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (he was four when he received it). To make the things even more complicated, the insignia of the Bath were repeated, as he was wearing the neck badge at the same time. Most of the medals worn by the Royal Family are coronation/jubilee or long service medals, with the notable exceptions of Prince Philip, who has an imposing array of WWII stars and Prince Andrew, proudly wearing the medal for the Falkland war.

Well, I hope it was fun. Now there comes the second part and hopefully even more fun. Below is a photo from the same film, depicting the King in full glory in an admiral's attire, with (some of) his orders and medals. And the question this time is: how many mistakes in the King's honours are you able to find? I myself have spotted about 8 of different level of importance, most in his medal array. Some of them I am not sure of myself, but the other ones are evident. Enjoy!

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The only two I see right off the bat are that he's missing the Mention In Dispatches palm on his WWI Victory Medal and the palm on his Croix de Guerre. And wouldn't the rosettes on his Italian & Russian medals be bigger?

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The only two I see right off the bat are that he's missing the Mention In Dispatches palm on his WWI Victory Medal and the palm on his Croix de Guerre. And wouldn't the rosettes on his Italian & Russian medals be bigger?

Indeed so.

The Edward VII Coron Medal is missing and the Garter riband goes under, not over the belt.

I take back what I said about creative skills. They have been allowed to go beserk with whatever is in place third from right, where the Military Order of Savoy is supposed to be. Looks like someone has started off with a Spanish Isabel the Catholic and made "creative adjustments".

As for the first photograph, I still do not see any evidence of the GCIE. There is a slight shadow cast by the ribbon of the GCVO ribbon, just like the GCB above it, nothing more.

Cheers,

James

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The Edward VII Coron Medal is missing and the Garter riband goes under, not over the belt.

The Edward VII Coronation Medal is the 5th from the left I think, but you are right that the riband should go under the belt. Something I did not notice.

And as there have been no other responses, let me list my objections:



  1. missing MID on the WWI Victory Medal
  2. Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal is the Police type, 36 mm of diameter and with bar suspension instead of the ring
  3. as a royal and 2nd great-grandson of Queen Victoria, George VI was certainly eligible for the gold Jubilee Medal instead of silver
  4. George V Silver Jubilee Medal is missing
  5. a nobody-knows-what instead of the Italian Military Order of Savoy
  6. even if it was correct, the Military Order of Savoy would go without the rosette
  7. the same applies to the Russian Order of St. Vladimir (could have a band if awarded for war merit)
  8. missing swords on the Order of St. Vladimir
  9. missing palm on the Croix de Guerre

My objection regards also the King's GCMG star. All GCMG stars I have ever seen are with rectangular arms of the Cross of St. George. In this star they are clearly trapezium-shaped. Even if such a star really existed, the King certainly did not wear anything like that.

I was also suspicious about the crown above the badge of the Order of the Bath. Yet, an examination of George VI's photos reveals that he really wore his badge surmounted with St. Edward's Crown. Was it the Sovereign's badge?? I do not know.

Edited by Lukasz Gaszewski
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The Edward VII Coronation Medal is the 5th from the left I think, but you are right that the riband should go under the belt. Something I did not notice.

That seems to have the appropriate Edward VII Coronation ribbon, but the medal itself is something else. As far as I know, the actual EVII Coronation Medal has a raised wreath around the edge and a crown between the top of the rim and the ribbon suspension loop.

Cheers,

James

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Here is a print-out of a photograph of the actual uniform and decorations worn by George VI, dressed-up for the French State Visit, from the Royal Collection at

http://www.royalcoll...&detail=magnify

Note the sovering's badge of the Order of the Bath with St Edward's Crown, the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medal in silver with clasp, crowned Edward VII Cornation Medal, and the absence of the Military Order of Savoy (in accordance with the ruling on Italian decorations in 1941).

Cheers

James

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So around his neck he has the KCB & KCVO, on his chest he's wearing the Order of the Garter (right) and the GCB (bottom) - but what's the one on the left? And where's the GCMG? And what's the medal (w/red ribbon) in the 7th position, where the Italian Military Order of Savoy would've gone?

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So around his neck he has the KCB & KCVO, on his chest he's wearing the Order of the Garter (right) and the GCB (bottom) - but what's the one on the left? And where's the GCMG? And what's the medal (w/red ribbon) in the 7th position, where the Italian Military Order of Savoy would've gone?

Harvey,

The neck badge is the Sovereign's badge of the Order of the Bath (not the KCB).

The chain is the Royal Victorian Chain (not the KCVO)

As I said, he is kitted out for the French State Visit so the breast star of the Legion of Honour is given equivalent place beside the Garter. The riband is also the Legion of Honour.

The removal of the Military Order of Savoy means that the Russian Order of St Vladimir 'with sword's moves up a place.

Cheers,

James

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James-

Thanks for pointing that out; I should've realized that the sovereign's orders would be different than any others, and would therefore use different postnominal letters. I should've recognized the Grand Cross of the Legion d'Honneur, but my mind was diligently searching for *British* awards, so we gots a little confused... :speechless::banger:

Also, I believe that it must be the Edward V Jubilee Medal that appears (on the real uniform )where the Savoy medal was (on Colin Firth's uniform) - another error on the part of the film makers.

But why would he wear the Sovereign's Badge of the Order of the Bath AND the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath at the same time? And why is he not wearing the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael & St. George (or the Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of India, for that matter)? Probably he just ran out of room, and couldn't pin more than 3 on at a time - esp. with that sash.

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The Duke of York was seven years old when he received the Edward VII Coronation Medal and just two (!) when he got Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal. I think sometimes all these coronation and jubilee medals are made for the royalty to avoid the empty space on their tunics.

But remember, jubillee and coronation medals are the personal gift of the Crown so why wouldn't he/she present them to his/her family?

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So many new responses... great!

James, do you know when exactly the King's state visit to France took place? I believe the ruling on Italian decorations in 1941 became void in 1943 after Italy swapped sides and became an ally again. I cannot speak on the King's behalf, but many allied soldiers wore their Italian decorations they received between 1943 and 1946, mostly SS Maurice and Lazarus, Crown of Italy or War Cross. I think George VI's decision not to wear the Military Order of Savoy might also be an effect of the proclamation of republic in 1946, after which all royal orders became obsolete. On the other hand, he still wore his Russian St. Vladimir, which makes my hypothesis questionable (however he stopped wearing it in later years, too).

As of the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee, it indeed looks silver on the photo. Yet, I have found another colour photo of the King from his coronation in 1937, on which the medal certainly looks gold. So the question remains open. The King exaggerated, however, adding the bar to his medal. Only those individuals were eligible for the bar, who had previously been awarded with the Victoria Golden Jubilee Medal of 1887, eight years before he was born!

The medal with red ribbon is George V Silver Jubilee Medal, but the edge of the ribbon is covered by the bullion. Note also that the MID on the Victory Medal is missing again.

The King was seldom seen wearing more than two stars on his uniform, so he had to choose. On most photos he has those of the Garter and of GCMG. I indeed cannot remember any photo of his wearing either GCSI or GCIE.

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Great finding, Archer, thank you very much! I think it is really His Majesty's set. And do I see right that the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medal is gold indeed?

You have anticipated my next post. I have found another photo of His Majesty, in the uniform of an Army Field Marshal and dated 1949 (probably one of the last of his). I wanted to ask to guess which ribbons were in and which out, compared to his pre-WWII photos. In this case, however, there is no use asking, but the photo proves the set of miniatures is genuine. Note the unusual manner of wearing up to six (!) ribbons per row.

(http://www.thecanterburyauctiongalleries.com/catalogue/37/books)

From Archer's miniature set and the photo it is clear that the King acquisitions for WWII included three WWII stars, the Defence Medal, British War Medal, 1939-1945 (the King did not wear the medals, probably to avoid wearing ones with his own effigy), as well as the foreign decorations, including Norwegian War Cross, Greek Decoration for Valour (Aristeion Andreias) and U.S. European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. Of the major honours for WWII he also had the U.S. Legion of Merit in the class of Chief Commander and Dutch Grand Cross of the Military Order of William, but for some reason he chose not to wear them either.

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Why would he be awarded the U.S. European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal?

Especially since he already had the France & Germany Star awarded by his own country.

Some high-ranking allied military, including King George VI and Field Marshal Montgomery received this medal, which normally was not conferred to non-U.S. soldiers, as an honorary award.

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