Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)

The official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO).

Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)


Established by Queen Victoria on April 21, 1896, the Royal Victorian Order rewards extraordinary, important, or personal services performed for the Sovereign or the Royal Family. The Order may be conferred by The Queen of Canada to recognize services rendered to the Sovereign or to members of the Royal Family during Royal visits to Canada. Names of Canadian recipients are published in the Canada Gazette.


The insignia of the Order consists of a Maltese cross of eight points, in the centre of which is an oval of crimson enamel with the Royal Cypher—VRI (Victoria Regina Imperatrix)—superimposed one letter on the other in gold. Encircling the Royal Cypher is a blue enamel riband with the motto VICTORIA in gold. The Imperial State Crown sits atop the riband.

Commanders receive a two-inch badge with a white-enameled cross, Lieutenants a one-and-one-half-inch badge with a white-enameled cross, and Members a one-and-one-half-inch badge with a frosted silver cross.

The ribbon of the Order is blue in colour, 38 mm wide, and edged by three equal bands of red, white, and red (2 mm).


There is no bar to the Royal Victorian Order, but one can be promoted within the Order.


The insignia of Commander shall be worn following the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in the sequence prescribed in the Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals Directive, and in the following manner: worn around the neck, suspended from the ribbon described above.


Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters  “CVO”.

Historical notes

Since 1972, 54 Canadians have been appointed Commanders of the Royal Victorian Order.

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