The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George was instituted in 1818 by King George IV of the United Kingdom. It was originally reserved for inhabitants of the Ionian islands and Malta which came under British rule in 1814. In 1897 King William II instituted three classes of Knights and from then on, any UK citizen is eligible for the Order. Nowadays, the Order is usually awarded to high-ranking Civil Servants, members of the Diplomatic Corps or those who have seen distinguished service in the Commonwealth.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT QATAR
These galleries present pivotal moments in Qatar's modern history, from 1500s to the present. These moments have made Qatar into the nation that we know today. Discover the leaders who have guided their people, the battles and events that have defined the nation and Qatar's vision for the future. The history of the nation unfolds through letters, newspapers, maps, artefacts, stamps, currency, historical photographs and testimonies of the people. They are witnesses to his crucial period, which continues to shape the development of the country and to enrichthe collective memory of the Qatari people.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT - REGION/GULF/WORLD
The Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, was born in Doha in January 1952. His mother was Sheikha Aisha bint Hamad Al Attiyah. Sheikh Hamad was raised and educated in Doha before joining the British Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. After graduating in 1971, he joined the Qatar Armed Forces, where he was promoted through the ranks to Major General. He played a key role in the development of the Armed Forces.
Sheikh Hamad ruled from 1995 to 2013. His reign saw the nation experience impressive economic, social and cultural development, whilst maintaining Qatari values and identity. He also promoted Qatar internationally and received many awards from Arab and foreign nations in recognition of his efforts.
Sheikh Hamad is known for his charity work and his fondness for history, diving and falconry.
Sheikh Hamad is married to Sheikha Maryam bint Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and Sheikha Noura bint Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani. He has 11 sons and 13 daughters.