Monday, March 6, 2023

The Rarest of Honours - Grand Commander of Sts. George and Olga

By Jean DuBois


The most rare of all honours of the Pontifical Imperial State of

Rome-Ruthenia is the distinction of Grand Commander of the Order of Saints George and Olga. That honour ranks second within the honours of the Pontifical Imperial State, immediately following the Bailiff Knights of Christ of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle.

The order itself is given in one rank, that of Knight or Dame. The gentleman's division is headed by the Papa-Prince of Rome-Ruthenia as the Grand Master, and the ladies' divisions headed by the Grand Duchess as Grand Mistress – perhaps unique among orders of chivalry in that regard. It is given as a recognition for service to the Pontifical Imperial household and is also held by all Grand Dukes/Duchesses of Rome of the blood who are at least age 18.

The honour of Grand Commander is strictly speaking an office, and it is held by the Grand Master and the Grand Mistress automatically and can be conferred in rare cases on other gentlemen and ladies. Other than the Grand Master and Grand Mistress, currently the distinction has been conferred only twice. Grand Commanders are entitled to wear the sash/broad riband in the distinct colours of the order, orange and black – representing the traditional imperial colours of yellow and black, with yellow tinged with the red blood of the martyrs. For more about the Order, follow this link.