Canadian Orders, Decorations & Medals

(Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

(Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

A reader from Nova Scotia has informed me that there is a new guide to the wearing of Canadian honours insignia.  Compared to the previous 2005 edition it is a very slickly designed publication with more comprehensive information on the honours system including a practical introduction to the difference between orders, decorations and medals.

The actual regulations as posted in the Guide haven’t changed, nor has the notable inclusion of morning dress as a distinct category of civilian attire.  As before, I was intrigued by the fact that this attire is featured so prominently in Canadian versus American regulations despite the fact that it is rarely ever worn in either country.  Then I realized that the occasions requiring the wearing of honours are typically governmental and ceremonial and that means they are by nature associated with the monarchy that our nation shares with Britain.  Suddenly it all made sense.

(Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

Canadian protocol for honours insignia worn on a director’s coat (aka stroller) or morning tailcoat (aka cutaway). (Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)


  1. Hal

    I always find the wearing of decorations with black tie a little odd (though clearly perfectly acceptable) and wearing something round the neck with white tie looks as though you are impersonating Bela Lugosi. I was amused to receive an invitation recently specifying that decorations were only to be worn with white tie, miniatures with black tie. I can’t imagine that most of the recipients, like me, were troubled by the need to know what honours I could display depending or had full choice of evening wear immediately to hand.

  2. Jeremy

    I’m given to believe that decorations on black tie are by and large an Anglo-American preserve? Continental Europe tends to limit honours on civvie evening dress to white tie.

    What interests me is that the Candian honours guide specifically mentions the wearing of a stroller, even if it’s under the category of “Morning Dress”; whereas the Australian equivalent makes no mention of it.
    Then again, whereas I’m not sure how de rigueur strollers are in Canada, it is for all intents and dead here — the lounge suit fulfilling various iterations of formality up to the (comatose) morning coat.

    Apologies for heading off-topic.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *