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The DBE is a charitable, non-political, non-sectarian, volunteer American society of women of British or Commonwealth birth or ancestry, or who are the partners of persons of British or Commonwealth birth or ancestry. The society was founded in the United states on March 15, 1909, as the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire in the U.S.A., and became the National Society Daughters of the British Empire in the U.S.A., Inc. in 1920. The National Society is incorporated in Delaware.

The primary objective of the DBE is to raise money for its District Homes, of which there are four across the United States. The first home was founded in the Eastern District. The Victoria Home opened its doors in 1916 with a clear mission: to provide the elderly with the highest levels of personalized care and attention, and the most comfortable, nurturing environment, during the twilight years of their lives. This mission spread and is being continued with the British Home in Illinois, Mountbatten House in Texas and in the British Home in California.  Since it's inception the DBE has raised over $11 million dollars.

Most of our Chapters and State Societies also participate in philanthropic endeavors within their own community. Our almost 3500 members across 30 States are professionals, businesswomen and homemakers with common interests and heritage, who meet regularly for business and social events with the common cause of philanthropy.

In more recent years the Daughters of the British Empire have financially supported the International Peace Garden on the border of US/Canada and the British Garden in Hanover Square, a Memorial to the 67 British subjects who perished in the world trade center attacks, and were able to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Tsunami and the earthquake in Haiti.

The wife of the British Ambassador to the United States, or the Ambassador herself, serves as Honorary President.

The DBE is affiliated with the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire in Canada (I.O.D.E.); the Victoria League, London, England; the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in the United States,and the British Garden, New York.