Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Order of the British Empire Service


Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh led worshippers at a special service of dedication and thanks for the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Around 2,000 people holding the honour filled St Paul's Cathedral, where they made an act of personal dedication led by the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres KCVO.

The Queen, who was wearing a full-length red state dress and the sovereign's mantle of the Order of the British Empire, entered the cathedral before the start of the service with Prince Philip using the Dean's Door - with an internal staircase - on the south side rather than the famous West Door.

The Order was founded in 1917 by GEORGE V with the motto For God and the Empire, and has more than 100,000 members throughout the world.

The Order recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds.

Senior public figures with the ranks of Knights and Dames Grand Cross (GBE) took part in a procession at the start of the service, including the Governor of the Bank of England, Professor Sir Mervyn King GBE, former president of the High Court Family Division, the Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE PC and the first Speaker of the House of Lords, the Baroness Hayman GBE PC.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan GBE QPM, former Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, is a Knight Grand Cross of the Order.

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