Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, known as Kate Middleton.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, known as Kate Middleton.Tom Soper Photography / Flickr / CC

To celebrate the Duchess of Cambridge's 8th wedding anniversary, in 2019, the Queen made her a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order - the highest honour she can bestow. But what exactly does it mean?

Well, awards under the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by the Queen, for services to the sovereign. Buckingham Palace made the announcement in April 2019.

What is the Royal Victorian Order?

The order was started by Queen Victoria in 1896 so that she could personally reward people who had helped her as a monarch.

The highest class of the order is to be a Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), which is what Kate Middleton has now been awarded.

Other classes include Knight or Dame Commander (KCVO or DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO), and Member (MVO).

The two highest classes come with admission into knighthood if the awardee is not already a knight or a dame. This means they can be called sir or dame.

Once part of the Order, members are given a badge which is a Maltese cross surrounded by a blue ring and featuring a Tudor crown.

* Originally published in April 2019.