Hartley Richardson is not actual royalty, but the CEO of James Richardson & Sons Ltd. recently received an honour from the Queen in person at Buckingham Palace that no other non-government official in Manitoba has ever received.
In October, the Queen pinned the Royal Victorian Order medal on Richardson’s lapel, in recognition of his contributions as the chairman of the Canadian Charter for Business, a corporate giving program that champions at-risk and marginalized young Canadians to provide them with the support necessary to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award program.
Investiture in the order, which was created by Queen Victoria in 1896 to recognize people for service to the Royal Family, does not bestow an honorific like "sir," but it does come with post-nominal letters. In addition to the OC and OM (for officer of the Order of Canada and Order of Merit in the Commonwealth), Richardson now can use after his name the letters LVO — Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order.
"We are immensely proud that Hartley has been named one of this year’s recipients of the Royal Victorian Order," said Carolyn Hursh, chairwoman of the board of the family-owned James Richardson & Sons Ltd., and also Hartley’s cousin.
"His exceptional dedication and leadership in support of many programs that benefit young Canadians is inspiring and is very deserving of this prestigious recognition."
According to Dwight MacAulay, the province’s former chief of protocol, Richardson is the only private citizen in Manitoba to have ever been invested in the Royal Victorian Order.
MacAulay and his predecessor as chief of protocol, Kathleen Brown, received the Royal Victorian Order, and retired RCMP officer Ron Lowe RVO and former deputy chief of protocol Karen Bryk MVO have also received the honour.
There are five grades to the order and the top two (which are not available to foreigners) grant titles of knighthood. All grades accord distinct post-nominal letters.
Commanders receive a two-inch badge with a white-enamelled cross, lieutenants a 1½-inch badge with a white-enamelled cross and members a 1½-inch badge with a frosted silver cross.
The Royal Victorian Order is the latest in a number of honours Hartley Richardson has had bestowed on him. He received an honorary doctor of laws from both the University of Manitoba in 2004 and the University of Winnipeg in 2012. He was appointed to the Order of Manitoba in 2008, and was also appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2007, then later promoted to an officer within the Order of Canada in 2013.
Hartley Richardson was previously recognized by members of the Royal Family for his contributions to society, including a 2017 commendation from HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, for his service as the chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charter for Business. Two years earlier, Richardson was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award from HRH Prince Edward, international chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.
Updated on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 7:26 AM CST: Adds photo
2:35 PM: A story in Tuesday’s edition listed three Manitobans who have been invested into the Royal Victorian Order; former chief of protocol Kathleen Brown MVO, former chief of protocol Dwight MacAulay CVO and Hartley Richardson LVO. Retired RCMP officer Ron Lowe RVO and former deputy chief of protocol Karen Bryk MVO have also received the honour.
December 17, 2019 at 5:52 PM: Adds images.