Order of St Michael and St George
GCMG (Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and
KCMG (Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George)
DCMG (Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George)
CMG (Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George)
Instituted by the Prince Regent (later King George IV) on 27 April 1818, this Order was founded to commemorate the British protectorate over the Ionian Islands (which were under British control from 1814-64). The Order is most often conferred upon those who have served British interests (other than military) overseas, and for important or loyal service in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Grand Master is the present Duke of Kent. There are 125 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 375 Knights and Dames Commander and 1,750 Companions. Princes and Princesses of the Blood Royal may be appointed as Extra Knights and Dames Grand Cross, and foreigners are appointed 'honorary' members, although they are in fact full members of the Order.
The original home of the Order was the Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu. Since 1906 the Order's chapel has been at St Paul's in London
The mantle worn during ceremonies is of saxon-blue satin lined with scarlet silk, and tied with a cordon of blue and scarlet silk and gold with two tassels of the same colour attached. The golden collar consists of depictions of crowned lions and Maltese crosses. In the centre are two winged lions, each holding a book and seven arrows.
Mantles and collars are worn by Knights and Dames Grand Cross at a range of ceremonies: investitures, services of remembrance or dedication of the Order, and 'Collar Days'. These dates are approved by the Sovereign at the beginning of each reign. The Queen, however, revised the list in 1983, and there are now 34 Collar Days in the year. Most of these are Feasts of the Church, from New Year's Day to Innocents' Day on 28th December. The remainder are royal anniversaries: The Queen's accession (6th February), The Queen's birthday (21st April), the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 (29th May), The Queen's Coronation (2nd June), and the Duke of Edinburgh's birthday (10th June).
The motto of the Order is Auspicium melioris aevi (token of a better age).