Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fascinating Fridays (Orders of Knighthood Part 4)

We continue our Fascinating Friday series with Part 4 of the different Orders of Knighthood. If you have always wondered why Royalty often appear at very formal function 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. 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 Last week we dealt with the Kingdom of Syldavias's Order of the Syldav Cross.

Today we will discuss the forth lowest ranking Order of Knighthood and it has its home in the Grand Duchy of Hanoveria.

We are now moving into the upper echelons of the Knighthood ranks but that does not mean that this more prestigious Knighthood is not without controversy. The Golden Order of the Polar Star and its sister Ruskian Order of the Polar Star has a single origin.  The Polar Star was the constellation that inspired the Ruskian Tzar Ivan the IX to explore the northern regions of the Ruskian ice covered arctic. He commissioned his youngest son with a blank cheque for this purpose and created an entirely new Order of Knighthood for his son Grand Duke Peter and the leading members of his expedition. Grand Duke Peter was to be the Grand Master and Proprietor of the order. Thus the original Order of the Polar Star was created. The young man availed himself of the task and the foundations for mapping and exploring the vast polar regions were thus set in stone. What was not planned however was that Grand Duke Peter would become the first Grand Duke of  a newly established independent Hanoveria. Upon his return to Ruskiana, the Grand Duke stopped over in Hanoveria who's ruling Grand Duke only had daughters. With the consent of his people, the Grand Duke married his eldest to the Ruskian Prince and declared him the heir to the throne. Grand Duke Paul arrived back at his own fathers court with a wife and a future domain of his own. The Order of the Polar Star thus became the official Order of Knighthood in Hanoveria.

A golden sash hung over the left shoulder and pinned with a badge set with a cluster of clear stones in the form of a stylised eight sided cross are the insignia for the Hanoverian Golden Order of the Polar Star. In the above picture we see the current Grand Ducal Family wearing the insignia. The badge is designed in such a way to strongly suggest a cluster of stars.

When Grand Duke Peter's elder brother became Tzar of Ruskia, his jealousy of his younger brother got the better of him and his revoked his Knighthood and declared the Order of the Polar Star a purely Ruskian  honour. The Tzar declared himself Grand Master and essentially set up a rival order. For years the two functioned as separate entities with many people ending up being members of both orders. 

To this day remnants of the two separate orders exist as the feuding rivals were only merged back into one in 2011. It was agreed at an Annual Knights gathering that Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna should relinquish her claims on the Polar Star as pretender to the Imperial Throne of Ruskiana. This was expected as a sign of goodwill and solidarity in order to present a united face in the surge of recent Royal popularity. In the picture above we can see the subtle differences in colour and badges between the Hanoverian (at left) and Ruskian (at right) insignia. It was agreed that members of the separated order will retain their individual insignia and that the united order will in future have two branches, the Golden Order of the Polar Star as the personal gift from the Grand Duke of Hanoveria and the standard order for merit in the fields of science, arts and socio-economic development. The head of the Ruskian Dynasty will retain a hereditary place within the order and preside over the sub-branch in trust of the Grand Duke of Hanoveria. 

A bright yellow sash hung over the left shoulder and pinned with a badge set with a cluster of white stones in the form of a square is the insignia of the former Ruskian Order of the Polar Star. Above we see Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna proudly displaying her insignia as former Grand Master of the Ruskian branch but now honoured with the new membership to the united order for her agreement to merge the two into one.

4 comments:

  1. Intense, Daniel. Do you you do the outfits or do you find them online?

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    1. Tnx for the compliment. Some outfits are standard Barbie, some are Chinamart, some are made by old ladies at fleamarkets, some are designed by me and custom made by proper couturiers at great cost and i even have a couple that are made for me entirely out of beads. it all depends. There are even a couple that I made myself. I combine all the elements together, jewellery, furs, sashes and mix and match the clothes. So you won't find this look for sale anywhere really.

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