Royal Order of Montillet (Mantuan Order of Chivalry)

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Royal Order of Montillet
Type Order of Chivalry
Established 1810
Criteria At the Monarch's Pleasure
Founder Amalio I
Sovereign HSH Princess Fabiola
Chancellor Princess Elida, Dowager Countess Agia
Status Currently Constituted
Classes Knight/Dame Grand Cross

The Royal Order of Montillet is a Mantuan order of chivalry founded by Prince Amalio I in 1810. The order has its origins in a small badge given by the Dukes of Montillet to courtiers to show their gratitude before the Dukes of Montillet became Dukes (and later Sovereign Princes) of Mantua. With Mantua's independence in 1705, the Grand Order of San Leopoldo was founded but it wasn't for another 105 years before the Order of Montillet was revived. Historians differ as to whether the insignia first given by the early Dukes ever constituted a formal order of chivalry and so the order is considered to have first been established in 1810. It is the second highest order of chivalry in Mantua and is awarded to members of the princely family, consorts of foreign heads of state and high ranking Mantuan public officials. It's design features the original Montillet emblem, a white rose on a gold radiance.

History[edit | edit source]

The order was originally considered to be reserved for members of the princely family and the consorts to foreign heads of state but in 1875, the statues governing the order was altered by it's founder to allow the order to be given to high ranking public officials. In 1920, a junior class of 'Member' was added so that it could be awarded to former Princely Household employees. Whilst the class still exists, there have been no appointments in the rank of 'Member' since 1933 when the Royal Service Medal was introduced by Prince Amalio III for that purpose. The order has predominantly been gifted to members of the Princely Family, traditionally on the day of their birth for women and the day of their baptism for men. The Chancellor of the Order is always appointed from the Princely Family and by tradition, is the eldest daughter of the sovereign. They serve for their lifetime. The current Chancellor is Princess Elida, Dowager Countess Agia who was appointed Chancellor on her 18th birthday in 1954.

Classes & Insignia[edit | edit source]

There are currently four classes of the Order of Montillet. These are:

  • Knight/Dame Grand Cross
  • Knight/Dame
  • Officer
  • Member

Recipients do not use post-nominals. Appointments are usually made on the 4 May which is currently celebrated as Princess Day, commemorating both the birthday and investiture anniversary of Princess Fabiola. This is not always the case however and unlike the Order of San Leopoldo which is rarely awarded outside of the 15th September (the feast day of St Leopoldo), appointments are often made outside of 4 May.

The Collar of the Royal Order of Montillet.

Knights and Dames Grand Cross are entitled to wear the collar, star and sash of the order but in cases where the recipient has the Order of San Leopoldo in the rank of Knight or Dame Grand Cross, the insignia of the higher order is worn with only the star of the Order of Montillet worn below the star of the Order of San Leopoldo. For those with no higher ranking order, the blue sash of the order is worn over the right shoulder with the rosette placed on the right hip (to which the badge of the order is affixed). The star is worn on the left side of the chest.

Knights and Dames of the Order do not wear the collar but instead wear the sash, star, badge and medal of the order. The medal is worn pinned to the right shoulder on top of the sash. Officers wear the medal of the order with the badge of the order worn on the left side of the chest just above the waist but with no sash or star. Members wear only the badge.

Mantuan Orders of Chivalry Flag of Mantua
Orders: Grand Order of San Leopoldo | Royal Order of Montillet
Decorations: Royal Service Medal | Princess Sofia Medal | Investiture Medals