- Order of the Indian Empire
Order of the Indian Empire The insignia of The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire Awarded by the Queen of the United Kingdom Type Order Motto IMPERATRICIS AUSPICIIS Awarded for At the monarch's pleasure Status Not awarded since 1947
Dormant order since 2010
Sovereign Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom Grades (w/ post-nominals) Knight Grand Commander (GCIE)
Knight Commander (KCIE)
Established 1878 - 2010 Precedence Next (higher) Order of St Michael and St George Next (lower) Royal Victorian Order ribbon bar of the Order of the Indian Empire
- Knight Grand Commander (GCIE)
- Knight Commander (KCIE)
- Companion (CIE)
The motto of the Order is Imperatricis auspiciis, (Latin for "Under the auspices of the Empress"), a reference to Queen Victoria, the first Empress of India. The Order is the junior British order of chivalry associated with the Empire of India; the senior one is The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India.
The British founded the Order in 1878 to reward British and "native" officials who served in India. The Order originally had only one class (Companion), but expanded to comprise two classes in 1887. The British authorities intended the Order of the Indian Empire as a less exclusive version of the Order of the Star of India (founded in 1861); consequently, many more appointments were made to the former than to the latter.
On 15 February 1887, the Order of the Indian Empire formally became "The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire" and was divided into two classes: Knights Commander and Companions, with the following first Knights Commander:
- General Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts
- Edward Drummond
- Sir Alfred Comyns Lyall
- Bhagvatsingh of Gondal
- Robert Anstruther Dalyell
- Maxwell Melvill
- Alexander Cunningham
- Rana Shankar Baksh Singh
- Dietrich Brandis
- Sir Monier Williams
- Pusapati Ananda Gajapati Raju, Maharaja of Vizianagram
- Donald Campbell Macnabb
- Honourable Nawab Sir Imam Buksh Khan Mazari 
- Nawab Munir ud-Daula Salar Jang, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad
- George Christopher Molesworth Birdwood
- Ranjit Singh, Raja of Ratlam
- Surgeon-General Benjamin Simpson
- Albert James Leppoc Cappel
- Sayyid Hassan Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Murshidabad
- Lachmessur Singh, Maharaja of Darbhanga
- Bapu Sahib Avar
- Donald Mackenzie Wallace
- Alfred Woodley Croft
- Bradford Leslie
However, on 5 January 1888, a further proclamation regarding the Order was made; the Order was expanded from two classes to three - Knight Grand Commander, Knight Commander and Companion. Seven Knights Grand Commander were created; they were:
- HRH The Prince of Wales
- HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
- HRH The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
- HRH The Duke of Cambridge
- The Lord Reay, Governor of Bombay
- The Lord Connemara, Governor of Madras
- General Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts (promoted from a Knight Commander)
Appointments to both Orders ceased after 14 August 1947. The Orders have never been formally abolished, and Queen Elizabeth II remains the Sovereign of the Orders to this day. Today, there are no living members of the order.
- The last Grand Master of the Order, Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-1979), died on 27 August 1979.
- The last surviving GCIE, HH Maharaja Sri Sir Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma (1912-1991), the Maharaja of Travancore, died on 19 July 1991 in Trivandrum.
- The last surviving KCIE, HH Maharaja Sri Sir the Maharaja of Dhrangadhra (1923-2010), the Maharaja of Dhrangadhra-Halvad, died at Dhrangadhra on 1 August 2010. 
- The last surviving CIE, Vice-Admiral Sir Ronald Brockman (1909-1999), died on 3 September 1999 in London.
The fictional characters Purun Dass (invented by Rudyard Kipling) and Harry Paget Flashman (invented by George MacDonald Fraser) each held a KCIE; Kipling's engineer Findlayson in The Day's Work (1908) aspires to the CIE.
The British Sovereign serves as the Sovereign of the Order. The Grand Master held the next-most senior rank; the position was held, ex officio, by the Viceroy of India. Members of the first class were known as "Knights Grand Commanders" rather than "Knights Grand Cross" so as not to offend the non-Christian Indians appointed to the Order.
At the time of foundation in 1878 the order had only one class, that of Companion, with no quota imposed. In 1887, the Order was divided into the two classes of Knights Commander (50 at any given time) and Companions (no quota). The following year the class of Knight Grand Commander (25 at any given time) was added; the composition of the other two classes remained the same.
British officials and soldiers were eligible for appointment, as were rulers of Indian Princely States. Generally, the rulers of the more important states were appointed Knights Grand Commanders of the Order of the Star of India, rather than of the Order of the Indian Empire. Women, save the princely rulers, were ineligible for appointment to the Order. Female princely rulers were, oddly, admitted as "Knights" rather than as "Dames" or "Ladies".
As well, other Asian and Middle Eastern rulers were also appointed.
Vestments and accoutrements
Members of the Order wore elaborate costumes on important ceremonial occasions:
- The mantle, worn only by Knights Grand Commanders, comprised dark blue satin lined with white silk. On the left side was a representation of the star (see below).
- The collar, also worn only by Knights Grand Commanders, was made of gold. It was composed of alternating golden elephants, Indian roses and peacocks.
At less important occasions, simpler insignia were used:
- The star, worn only by Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders, had ten points, including rays of gold and silver for Knights Grand Commanders, and of plain silver for Knights Commanders. In the centre was an image of Victoria surrounded by a dark blue ring with the motto and surmounted by a crown.
- The badge was worn by Knights Grand Commanders on a dark blue riband, or sash, passing from the right shoulder to the left hip, and by Knights Commanders and Companions from a dark blue ribbon around the neck. It included a five-petalled crown-surmounted red flower, with the image of Victoria surrounded by a dark blue ring with the motto at the centre.
The insignia of most other British chivalric orders incorporates a cross: the Order of the Indian Empire does not in deference to India's non-Christian tradition.
Precedence and privileges
Members of all classes of the Order were assigned positions in the order of precedence. Wives of members of all classes also featured on the order of precedence, as did sons, daughters and daughters-in-law of Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders. (See order of precedence in England and Wales for the exact positions.)
Knights Grand Commanders used the post-nominal "GCIE," Knights Commanders "KCIE" and Companions "CIE." Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders prefixed "Sir" to their forenames. Wives of Knights Grand Commanders and Knights Commanders could prefix "Lady" to their surnames. Such forms were not used by peers and Indian princes, except when the names of the former were written out in their fullest forms.
Knights Grand Commanders were also entitled to receive heraldic supporters. They could, furthermore, enircle their arms with a depiction of the circlet (a circle bearing the motto) and the collar; the former is shown either outside or on top of the latter. Knights Commanders and Companions were permitted to display the circlet, but not the collar, surrounding their arms. The badge is depicted suspended from the collar or circlet.
The first two kings of Bhutan were presented with the KCIE:
- Ugyen Wangchuck, the first King, received the KCIE in 1905 from John Claude White, the first Political Officer in Gangtok, Sikkim. He was promoted to a GCIE in 1921.
- Jigme Wangchuck, the second King, received the KCIE in 1931 from Lieutenant-Colonel J.L.R. Weir, also the Political Officer in Gangtok at the time.
Other appointees include:
- Prabhu Narayan Singh of Benares, The Maharaja of Benares from the Royal House of Benares received the KCIE in 1892.
- Sir V. Bhashyam Aiyangar, The first Indian to be appointed Advocate-General of the Madras Presidency and Law member of the executive council of the Governor of Madras between 1897 to 1900, was created as a CIE in 1895, however his later promotion to the rank of Knight Bachelor in 1900 often overshadows his CIE status.
- Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimullah Bahadur of Dhaka Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE)-23 December 1911, Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI)-New Year Honours, 1909, Companion of the Order of the Star of India (CSI)-New Year Honours, 1906.
- Abdul Karim, "the Munshi", Queen Victoria's favorite Indian servant, was created a CIE.
- Rao Bahadur Kanti Chandra Mukharji (Chief Member of the Jaipur State council, Member of the Famine Commission of India)was made a CIE in 1891.
- Jagadish Chandra Bose was made a CIE in 1903.
- Sir Md. Azizul Haque was made a CIE in 1937.
- Khwaja Nazimuddin was made a KCIE in 1934, promoted from a CIE in 1926
- C.D. Deshmukh was appointed a CIE in 1937.
- Benegal Rama Rau was appointed a CIE in 1931.
- Atul Chandra Chatterjee was appointed a CIE in 1919, knighted with the KCIE in 1925 and promoted to a GCIE in 1933.
- Iskander Mirza was made a CIE in 1945.
- Sheikh Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa, Ruler of Bahrain, was made a KCIE in 1919, as was his son, Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa (1872-1942) in 1935. His grandson, Sheikh Salman ibn Hamad Al Khalifa (1895-1961), was also made a KCIE in 1943.
- The Maharajas of Baroda, Gwalior, Sailana, Jammu and Kashmir, Mysore, Indore, Udaipur, Kolhapur and Travancore, other major salute states, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Bhopal usually received the GCIE before they received a GCSI
- Nawab Sayyid Hassan Ali Mirza Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Murshidabad, received the KCIE in 1887 and was promoted to a GCIE in 1890.
- Emperor Gojong of Korea received the GCIE in 1900.
- Sheikh Mubarak Al Sabah of Kuwait received the KCIE in 1911. His great-grandson, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received one in 1930, promoted from a CIE in 1922.
- Maharaja Sir Juddha Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana of Nepal received the GCIE in 1933, promoted from a KCIE in 1917.
- Maharaja Sir Padma Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana of Nepal received the KCIE in 1919.
- Raja of Panagal, Premier of Madras from 1921 to 1926 was awarded a CIE and later made KCIE.
- Maharaja Sir Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana of Nepal received the GCIE in 1945, promoted from a KCIE in 1924.
- Sheikh Khaz'al Khan of Mohammerah received the GCIE in 1916, promoted from a KCIE in 1910.
- Faisal bin Turki, Sultan of Muscat and Oman, received the GCIE in 1903. His son, Taimur bin Faisal, received the KCIE in 1926 and his grandson, Said bin Taimur, received the GCIE in 1945.
- Raja Sir Martanda Bhairava Tondaiman Bahadur, Raja of Pudukkottai was appointed GCIE on 1st of January 1913.
- William Robert Cornish, Surgeon-General—head of medical services—in the Madras Presidency.
- John Thomas Donovan, late of the Indian Civil Service was appointed CIE in 1931.
- Gopal Krishna Gokhale was made CIE.
- Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, Law Member of India and Dewan of Travancore from 1936 to 1947 was appointed a CIE in 1923 and knighted with the KCIE in 1926. He was also a recipient of KCSI.
- R Srinivasa Sharma, of Mavur
- Francis Spring, the civil engineer, was made a KCIE.
- ^ Obituary of The Maharaja of Dhrangadhra-Halvad - Website Telegraph.co.uk, 02 September 2010
- ^ Buckland, C. E. (1901). Bengal Under the Lieutenant-Governors: Being a Narrative of the Principal Events and Public Measures During Their Periods of Office, from 1854 to 1898, p. 699. Calcutta: S. K. Lahiri & Co.
- ^ Debrett's website Orders Associated with the Indian Empire
- ^ www.pap.gov.pk
- ^ http://www.india-forums.com/news/article.asp?id=266793
- ^ Boutell, Charles (1908). English Heraldry, p. 290. London: Reeves & Turner.
- ^ Obituary (1897), "Surgeon-General Cornish C.I.E.", The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 18: 656–61
- ^  Indian Office Records, British Library.
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