Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Fascinating Fridays (Orders of Knighthood Part 1)

For this week's Fascinating Friday lecture on Royal technicalities we will start Part 1 of our discussion on the different Orders of Knighthood. If you have always wondered why Royalty often appear at very formal functions wearing coloured sashes you will now find out. We have discussed the origin and rank of the title, Knight, in a former Fascinating Friday post and have glanced over some of the Orders of Knighthood but now we will list them all and give some insight to the origin and functions of these Orders.

There are currently six active Orders of Knighthood and two Family Orders of Honour. They all rank in an order of precedence which ranks one above the other in prestige. Normally the date of the specific Order's founding gives it precedence over younger ones but also its exclusivity gives it higher prestige. Let us first start with the lowest and work our way up towards the highest.

Part 1 The Order of the Ublient

At the bottom we find the second oldest Order which seems to be a contradiction to the aforementioned principle of prestige based on age. It is afforded its low status due to its haphazard continuity and is strictly seen as the youngest order of Knighthood as it was finally established in its current uncontested form in 2012. The Wallachian Order of the Ublient has been one of the most controversial knighthoods in recent Europan history. It was originally established by the Grand Duke of Serbieski in 1340. It was meant to unify the feuding barons and knights within his realm by giving them the common purpose of fighting off foreign enemies rather than each other. It also served to honour them for services rendered to the common good of the medieval Grand Duchy. Ironically Serbieski later came under the rule of a foreign power as the invading Prince of Wallachia defeated his neighbour and placed his brother on the throne as Grand Duke. The Order of the Ublient eventually developed into a Wallachian honour and was seen by strict Serbieski nationalists as a symbol of Wallachian usurpation. Centuries later after the Great War, Serbieski found itself declared an independent Kingdom and resurrected the then defunct Serbieski branch of the Knighthood as a national honour. The Principality of Wallachia challenged their rights to it and for a while the two rival orders ran concurrently. The 96 revolution saw the end of Serbieski as a Kingdom and their branch of the Order of the Ublient. The Prince Karageorgevich did however pretend to the headship of the Order just as he claimed the throne of Serbieski. Wallachia like the other remaining monarchies just allowed the Order to fade into dormancy. In 2012 Serbieski was mediatized within the restored Kingdom of Syldavia and as such had no claim on the Headship of an Order of Knighthood. Wallchia then resumed the functions and display by "re-activating" their branch and it is today their country's highest order of merit.

Princess Xenia, as Head and High Commander of the Order of the Ublient is seen above at the Heads of the Royal Houses meeting in 2012. It was at this meeting where the headship of the Order of the Ublient was addressed and finally resolved. She is seen in this photo wearing the sash and badge and the Grand Duke of Serbieski, who is still seen as a member albeit not the Head of the Order also wears the insignia to the right of the picture.

A burgundy sash hung over the left shoulder pinned with a golden circular badge surmounted by a single clear stone is the official insignia of the Wallachian Order of the Ublient.

The Order currently has very diminshed ranks. Above we see the Baron Bagrazia, husband to the Princess of Wallachia. Other members include, the Duke of Swann, King Nikolas III of Syldavia and the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Serbieski. The Order never accepts more than 40 members in total. We might see the compliment of Knights rise as the functions and popularity of Royalty increase. 

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