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At the time of the Commonwealth Declaration in 1949, only the British honours system existed to recognise service and achievement within Commonwealth countries. This system is still used in the United Kingdom and in a number of The Queen’s other realms.

Over the past 60 years, many nations of the Commonwealth have developed their own indigenous Orders as part of an honours system. Where The Queen is Head of State, Her Majesty is often the Sovereign of the Order and has her own badges that have been specially designed for her to wear. Other nations have established their own honours system – often at the time of Independence – and over time have awarded their honours to The Queen.

Indigenous designs and colours have been adopted in the insignia of these new Orders – in Canada, a snowflake; Australia, the wattle flower and kangaroo; and Maori designs in New Zealand.

During a Commonwealth tour, on occasions such as an official banquet, Her Majesty usually wears the Order that she has received from the host country.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.