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Empress of India Medal

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Title: Empress of India Medal  
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Subject: Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom, Vijaya Mohana Muktamba Bai, King Edward VII Coronation Medal, Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medal, Pratap Singh of Jammu and Kashmir
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Empress of India Medal

Empress of India Medal
Obverse and reverse of the Empress of India Medal
Awarded by Queen Victoria
Type Commemorative medal
Awarded for Commemorate the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India
Established 1877

Ribbon bar of the medal

The Empress of India Medal, also referred to as KIH Medal, was a commemorative medal awarded to mark the occasion of the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877. It was the first official commemorative medal issued by the British Monarchy that was intended to be worn.[1]


The first official medals to commemorate the coronation of a British sovereign were distributed in 1547, marking the coronation of King Edward VI. These medals were medallions or commemorative coins, not intended for wear. The first official medal, commemorating a royal occasion, which was intended to be worn, was the Empress of India Medal. This medal marked the occasion of the proclamation at the Delhi Durbar of Queen Victoria as Empress of India on 1 January 1877. The medal was awarded to Indian princes, senior officials, as well as select military officers, and soldiers.[1]


The medal was made in both gold and silver, with gold medals going to individuals of higher rank. The medal measures 58 millimetres (2.3 in) in diameter, nearly 20 mm more than a campaign medal. The obverse of the medal depicts the diademed effigy of Queen Victoria, wearing a veil which falls over the back of the head and neck. Around the beaded edge of the medal is inscribed Victoria 1st January 1877. The reverse bears the inscription Empress of India in English and Hind-ka-Kesar in Hindustani and Persian. Around the edge is a repeating decorative design.[2]

It was worn on a ribbon around the neck.[1] The ribbon is purple, with thin yellow stripes at the edges.[3]


  1. ^ a b c McCreery, Christopher (2012). Commemorative medals of the Queen's reign in Canada, 1952-2012. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 19.  
  2. ^ Tancred, George (1891). Historical Record of Medals and Honorary Distinctions Conferred on the British Navy, Army & Auxiliary Forces: From the Earliest Period. Spink & Son. pp. 295–296. 
  3. ^ "Empress of India Medal (1877)". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 

External links

  • Empress of India Medal, 1877, gold. OMSA Medal Database
  • Empress of India Medal, 1877, silver. OMSA Medal Database
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