Royal Order of Francis I

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Royal Order of Francis I
Ster van de Orde van Frans I Beide Sicilien 1829.jpg
Breast Star of the Order
Awarded by the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Type Previously a State Order,
Currently a Dynastic Order
Motto MERITO DE REGE OPTIME
Awarded for Civil and military merit and services to industry, agriculture, and the arts to the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Statistics
Established 28 September 1829
Precedence
Next (higher) Order of Saint George and Reunion
Reale ordine di francesco I.png
Ribbon of the Order

The Royal Order of Francis I (properly 'The Royal Order of Francis I of the Two Sicilies' Italian: Reale Ordine di Francesco I) is a dynastic order of chivalry of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. It is currently bestowed by Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro.

History[edit]

None of the Two Sicilies orders has ever been abolished, and before 1860 (when these were all founded) there was very little real distinction in Naples between the Crown and the State, and there were actual constitutions (as we would understand this term today) only for brief periods after 1800.

The Royal Order of Francis I was founded on 28 September 1829 to reward civil and military merit and services to industry, agriculture, and the arts to the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In more recent times, and especially since the late 1990s, it has also been awarded to those active in inter-religious affairs in Italy and internationally.

Although the order was a state order and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies ceased to exist in 1860, the Order continued to be awarded by the exiled King Francis II and his brother and successor Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta, although the latter did so for the last time in 1920. His successor as head of the Dynasty, Prince Ferdinand Pius, Duke of Calabria who was head of the family from 1934-1960 accepted the de facto existence of the Italian State and abandoned an active pretension to the throne, considering the order to be abeyance. His descendant Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria continues this policy.

Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, much like his father, Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Castro, head of the line of the family descended from Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro has claimed the title and right of Grand Master and bestowed the order.

Recent recipients[edit]

Knight or Dame Grand Cross

Knight or Dame Commander

  • Lord Alderdice of Knock, former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Knight Commander,

Grades[edit]

The Order is now divided into three grades (the modern revival has allowed the award to women):

  • Knight Grand Cross with sash ribbon and star
  • Dame Grand Cross, with ribbon with bow edged in gold and covered with fleurs-de-lis
  • Knight Commander, with cross on neck ribbon
  • Dame Commander with ribbon with bow edged in gold and cross;
  • Knight First Class, with ribbon and cross;
  • Dame First Class with ribbon with bow and cross.
Divisa.Ord.FrancescoI.png
Reale ordine di francesco I.png
Knight
Reale ordine di francesco I.png
Commander
Reale ordine di francesco I.png
Knight Grand Cross

External links[edit]

See also[edit]