Imperial Order of the Crown of India
The insignia of the Imperial Order of the Crown
of India
Awarded by the British monarch
TypeOrder of Chivalry
EligibilityBritish princesses, wives or female relatives of Indian princes
StatusLast appointment in 1947
Dormant order since 2022
SovereignCharles III

Ribbon of the order

The Imperial Order of the Crown of India is an order in the British honours system. The Order was established by Queen Victoria when she became Empress of India in 1878.[1] The Order was open only to women, and no appointments have been made since the Partition of India in 1947. The Order was limited to British princesses, wives or female relatives of Indian princes (female rulers like the Nawab Begums of Bhopal counted as such) and the wife or female relatives of any person who held the office of:


The Order of the Crown of India was established by Queen Victoria in 1878 as a companion order to the Order of Victoria and Albert. The order was intended to recognize women associated with India regardless of their social statuses. In practice, the Order of the Crown of India was mostly conferred on royalty, wives of peers, wives of members of India's ruling classes and wives of civil servants stationed in India. It is one of the few honors which was reserved for women only, such as the Order of Victoria and Albert and the Royal Family Order.

Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, and her sister Princess Margaret were appointed to the Order by their father King George VI in June 1947, before the British Raj was dissolved three months later, making them among the last women to be presented with the Order. By the late 20th century there were only four living recipients – Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, who was the last ordinary member at the time of her death in 2004.

With the death of the last surviving holder Queen Elizabeth II, the last active imperial Indian order became dormant in 2022.


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Badge of the order

The members of the Order could use the post-nominal letters "CI", but did not acquire any special precedence or status due to it. Furthermore, they were entitled to wear the badge of the Order, which included Queen Victoria's Imperial Cypher, VRI (Victoria Regina Imperatrix). The letters were set in diamonds, pearls, and turquoises, and were together surrounded by a border of pearls surmounted by a figure of the Imperial Crown. The badge was worn and attached to a light blue bow, edged in white, on the left shoulder.

Elizabeth in red uniform on a black horse
Elizabeth II, in her uniform as Colonel-in-Chief of the Scots Guards, wears the badge of the order as a medal (first on left). (Trooping the Colour, 1986)


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (August 2008)
Rani Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore wearing the badge and ribbon of the order



Tara Devi, the Maharani of Jammu and Kashmir


  1. ^ a b c "No. 24539". The London Gazette. 4 January 1878. p. 113.
  2. ^ "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36075. London. 26 February 1900. p. 6.
  3. ^ a b "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36083. London. 7 March 1900. p. 6.
  4. ^ "No. 12194". The Edinburgh Gazette. 19 November 1909. p. 1186.
  5. ^ "No. 28458". The London Gazette. 20 January 1911. p. 499.
  6. ^ "No. 12366". The Edinburgh Gazette. 23 June 1911. p. 625.
  7. ^ "No. 12366". The Edinburgh Gazette. 23 June 1911. p. 625.
  8. ^ a b "No. 15136". The Edinburgh Gazette. 4 January 1935. p. 15.
  9. ^ "No. 34259". The London Gazette. 25 February 1936. p. 1232.
  10. ^ "No. 34406". The London Gazette. 9 June 1937. p. 3729.
  11. ^ "No. 24406". The London Gazette. 9 June 1937. p. 3729.
  12. ^ "No. 34451". The London Gazette. 5 November 1937. p. 6889.
  13. ^ "No. 37325". The London Gazette. 26 October 1945. p. 5237. In recognition of her work for Indian service men and Indian seamen as Chairman of the Indian Comforts Fund.
  14. ^ "No. 37598". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1946. p. 2763.
  15. ^ "No. 37905". The London Gazette. 14 March 1947. p. 1216.
  16. ^ a b "No. 37976". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1947. p. 2569.
  17. ^ "No. 38041". The London Gazette. 8 August 1947. p. 3731.