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Andrew Bertie

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Fra' Andrew Bertie
Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta Servant of God
78th Prince and Grand Master
Reign11 April 1988 – 7 February 2008
PredecessorFra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna, 77th Prince and Grand Master
SuccessorFra' Matthew Festing, 79th Prince and Grand Master
Born15 May 1929 (1929-05-15)
London, England, United Kingdom
Died7 February 2008(2008-02-07) (aged 78)
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Burial16 February 2008
Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie
DynastyBertie family
FatherLt. Cdr. the Hon. James Bertie
MotherLady Jean Crichton-Stuart

Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie (15 May 1929 – 7 February 2008) was Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 1988 until his death in 2008.

On 20 February 2015 a formal inquiry for the cause of his beatification and canonisation was opened in Rome.[1]

Early career[edit]

Bertie was born in London as the elder son of Hon. James Bertie (youngest son of the 7th Earl of Abingdon) and Lady Jean Crichton-Stuart (daughter of the 4th Marquess of Bute).

He was the fifth cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II, by common descent from King George III and his wife Queen Charlotte Sophia.

He was educated at the English Catholic public school, Ampleforth College, and graduated in Modern History from Christ Church, Oxford. He also attended the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. From 1948 to 1950, he carried out military service in the Scots Guards, becoming a commissioned officer in 1949. After a short experience in the commercial sector, he taught modern languages (particularly French, and Spanish but also Russian, German, Dutch, Tibetan and Maltese) for twenty-three years at Worth School, a Benedictine public school in Sussex, England. One of his pupils there was Dominique, Prince and Count de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel who would become Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta. Bertie was a judo black belt and taught judo at Worth School.

Order of Malta[edit]

Bertie was admitted to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta as a Knight of Honour and Devotion, 14 November 1956.[2] He became a Knight of Obedience 31 March 1968.[2] On 7 February 1975 he entered the novitiate for Knights of Justice and of 28 March 1977 became of Knight of Justice in temporary vows.[2][3] He made his perpetual vows as a Knight of Justice 20 May 1981.[2]

In 1981 Bertie also joined the government of the Order as a member of the Sovereign Council. In April 1988, he was elected Grand Master in succession to the late Fra' Angelo de Mojana. Bertie's election was ratified by Pope John Paul II 11 April 1988.

Subsequently, Bertie was Hospitaller of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, which is the annual pilgrimage site of the Order of Malta.[4]

Bertie described the aims of the Order as "to help the poor and the sick; that is and always has been our primary aim":

"The other military orders were there to fight the Saracens and to save Spain or the Holy Land or Prussia from the pagans. But we always had this special commitment to the poor and the sick. Our aims today are exactly the same as they were in 1099, the sanctification of our members through service to the sick."[4]

Personal life[edit]

Bertie never married or had children. He died in Rome from cancer on 7 February 2008, aged 78.


Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles and style[edit]

His full title was: His Most Eminent Highness Fra' Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Most Humble Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ.[5]

Honours and awards[edit]



  • Path to Peace Award (2005)
  • Matteo Ricci Award (2006)

Honorary citizenships[edit]

Honorary degrees[edit]


  1. ^ "1,300 arrive in Rome for the mass and initiation of the cause of beatification of Fra' Andrew Bertie". Order of Malta. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Ruolo Generale, 1986. Roma: Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta. p. 290.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Fra Andrew Bertie". The Times. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Pope Mourns Fra Bertie, Grand Master of the Order of Malta". Radio Vaticana. 8 February 2008. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Fra' Andrew Bertie". Ampleforth College. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Lithuanian Orders". Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. ^ "State Honours: Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross". Slovak Republic. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Royal Decree 887/1999 Andrew Bertie's induction as knight of the Collar of the Order of Isabella de Catholic". BOE Spanish Official Journal. Retrieved 9 February 2019.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
Succeeded by