The Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George of Great Britain.
Awarded to Dutch Prime Minister Willem Drees

The order was founded on the 27th of April 1818, by letters patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, and a code of statutes was promulgated on the 12th August following; but, by its third sovereign, William IV, the constitution of St Michael and St George was so materially changed, and its importance so much enhanced that William may almost be considered its second founder. The new statutes, framed by that monarch, ordain that the monarch of the United Kingdom shall for ever be sovereign of the order, that a prince of the blood royal being a descendant of the body of the Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover, shall be Grand Master, and that there shall be three classes of Knights, first Knights Grand Cross, second Knights Commanders and third Cavalieri or Companions: the first class to be restricted to fifteen, the second, to twenty, and the third, to twenty-five. The star of a Knight Grand Cross is composed of seven rays of silver, having a small ray of gold between each of them, and over all the cross of St George, gules. In the centre is a representation of the Archangel St Michael encountering Satan, within a blue circle, inscribed with the motto 'Auspicium Melioris Aevi'. The badge is a gold cross of fourteen joints of white enamel, edged with gold, having in the centre, on one side, the Archangel St Michael encountering Satan, and on the other, St George on horseback, encountering a dragon within a blue circle, on which the motto of the order is inscribed. The cross is surmounted by the imperial crown, and is worn by the Knights Grand Cross to the collar, or to a wide Saxon-blue ribbon, with a scarlet stripe from the right shoulder to the left side.


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