Queen Elizabeth II can force her in-laws to wear her portrait

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Kate Middleton is expected to receive the Royal Order of Queen Elizabeth II on an upcoming trip to Scotland. This is a big honor from the Duchess of Cambridge's grandmother-in-law, the perma-queen of the United Kingdom: the Order is awarded only to female members of the monarch's family, at her discretion.

The badge of the Order consists of a 1952 portrait of the Queen, set with diamonds, on a yellow silk ribbon. It's pinned to the left shoulder of the wearer's dress for state banquets and other formal occasions.


Yes, that's right: if these reports are true, Kate will spend her fanciest evenings with her husband's grandmother's face stuck to her gowns, for the rest of her life.

For a sense of what that looks like in practice, here's Sophie, Duchess of Wessex—wife to the Queen's youngest son, Edward—wearing the Order at the Swedish royal wedding in 2010.

"It's me. Your mother-in-law. You know, the Queen. I'm fine, just hanging out on your neckline. Do you really need another cocktail, dear?"


Previous honorees include Liz's mother, daughter, aunts, and cousins, but of the six living known recipients of the Order, four—like Middleton—are related to the Queen by marriage.

Hello! notes that this honor "serves as a personal memento rather than a state decoration, although it can be worn during state occasions," which presumably makes the Queen all the more passive-aggressively disappointed when you're spotted without it.


Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.