Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael & St. George
The Most Distinguished Order Of Saint Michael and Saint George
Originally founded in 1818 by the Prince Regent to reward the services of the populations of Malta and the Ionian Islands, both of which had been ceded to Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. The award was extended towards the end of the nineteenth century to those who had rendered distinguished service in the Colonies and in foreign affairs and is usually now given to British subjects as a reward for services abroad or in the Commonwealth. Ladies are now eligible.
The motto is "Auspicium Melioris Aevi " or " Token of a Better Age ".
The Order comprises three classes:
G.C.M.G. Knight Grand Cross.
K.C.M.G. Knight Commander.
The insignia which the Tank Museum has on display are:
The collar : of gold (silver-gilt), formed alternately of lions of England, Maltese crosses in white enamel, and the ciphers S.M. and S.G., with in the centre, two winged lions of St. Mark, each holding a book and seven arrows.
The badge : is a gold seven pointed star with V shaped tips, enamelled in white and edged gold, surmounted by the Imperial Crown. In the centre, on one side is a representation in enamel of St. Michael encountering Satan and on the other St. George on horseback fighting the dragon which is surrounded by a circle of blue enamel, bearing the motto 'AUSPICIUM MELIORIS AEVI' in gold.
The breast star : is a silver star of seven rays, with a gold ray between each, and over all the Cross of St. George in red enamel. In the centre is a representation of St. Michael encountering Satan within a blue circular riband bearing the motto 'AUSPICIUM MELIORIS AEVI'.
The ribbon is three equal bands of saxon blue, scarlet and saxon blue.