Kate Middleton
Photo Credit Toby Melville/ Reuters

Kate Middleton Receives Rare Royal Honor Amidst Health Challenges

In a recent royal accolade, Kate Middleton has been appointed the Royal Companion of The Order of the Companions of Honour by King Charles, a title notably less prestigious than other royal honors, according to experts. This recognition comes as the Duchess of Sussex steps back from her royal duties following a cancer diagnosis earlier this year.

Royal blogger Gertrude Daly provided insight to the Daily Mail on the significance of this award within the royal hierarchy. “Receiving any honour from the British Monarch is a show of recognition and praise. But, in terms of the Order of the Companions of Honour and where it falls in the hierarchy and precedence of honours, this is one of the lowest orders.

Princess Kate is the first royal to receive this honour, which is very much an honour. But it is important to also recognize that the reason this honour was never given to other royals is because of how low it is. Royals usually receive much higher honours,” Daly explained.

This development is intriguing as it positions the Duchess in a unique category apart from other royals who typically receive more esteemed recognitions. Gertrude contrasted Kate’s new title with her previous honor, the Grand Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, noting the latter as more significant. “All of the other honours given out on Tuesday were among the highest honours you can receive. So, Princess Kate’s honour pales in comparison. And seems like a consolation prize,” she added.

The discussion about royal honors comes as speculation grows over Princess Kate’s potential receipt of the Order of the Garter, the UK’s highest Order of Chivalry, traditionally reserved for blood royals or consorts of heirs. Interestingly, King Charles recently extended this honor to the Duchess of Gloucester in recognition of her decade of service, which Daly noted, “The Duchess of Gloucester is much lower in precedence than Princess Kate, but receives the Order of Garter first, as the King puts long service ahead of rank.”

This gesture by the King indicates a shift in the traditional awarding of the Order of Garter and may set a precedent for other non-blood royals like Duchess Sophie, who has served over a decade longer than Princess Kate. Daly suggests, “This will also open the honor to Duchess Sophie receiving the Order of Garter. She has over a decade longer of service than Princess Kate, so may also receive it before her.”

As the royal family adapts to new norms under King Charles’s reign, the distribution of honors continues to spark conversation and debate about the value and significance of such recognitions within and beyond the walls of the monarchy.

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