It sounds so formal, the way it is announced in a three-line press release from Buckingham Palace.

“The Queen has been pleased to make the following appointment to the Royal Victorian Order: -To be a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO). HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.”


According to the Buckingham Palace website:

Awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by The Queen, for services to the Sovereign.

The Royal Victorian Order is given by The Queen to people who have served her or the Monarchy in a personal way. The Order was founded in April 1896 by Queen Victoria as a way of rewarding personal service to her, on her own initiative rather than by ministerial recommendation. The Order was, and is, entirely within the Sovereign’s personal gift.

According to the Daily Mail, the award was timed to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the Camilla’s marriage to Prince Charles

Another such person to receive the award of Honorary Commander of the Royal Victorian Order is San Francisco’s own Charlotte Shultz. Queen Elizabeth personally presented Shultz the award at the British Embassy in Washington, DC during the Queen’s state visit to the United States in May, 2007.

It was Wilkes Bashford who recommended that New York couturier Donald Deal make the dress that Charlotte needed for the ceremony and another for the State dinner at the White House, an order he was able to complete in two days.


Wilkes Bashford and Charlotte Shultz attend a luncheon for the Mayor of Paris during his visit to SF

According to Catherine Bigelow’s column in the Chronicle of May 13, 2007:

Then Shultz accessorized. Gloves: yes. Hat: maybe. The embassy is home-away-from-home for the royals, so Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting cautioned Shultz that headgear might not be required. Stowing her hat nearby, Shultz set up a signal with one of the ladies-in-waiting. As the be-hatted queen arrived for the ceremony, Shultz got a thumbs-up high-hat sign and donned her chapeau.

The drama was captured by the cameras that were filming the Queen’s visit for a documentary. It was aired on PBS.

British Consul General Martin Uden, explained the reason for the award by saying, “Without her, royal visits such as the 2005 visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall just wouldn’t have been the success they were.”


Charlotte Shultz on her way to greeting the UN Secretary General at the Ferry Bldg July 2007 during the 60th anniversary oif the founding of the UN in SF.

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!