We share with you text prepared by Mr. Guy Stair Sainty, prominent British author on nobility, royal genealogy, and heraldry, in which many answers were given about malicious speculations of the orders Crown Prince Alexander received:

Being honoured with the Bailiff’s cross of the Order of Malta and the Constantinian Order, does not make one a “member” of the Order if the recipient is not a Catholic.

Other Orthodox sovereigns and princes who received the same rank of the Order of Malta include Emperor Paul I of Russia, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, Emperor Alexander III of Russia and Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. Also, the late Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia, Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna of Russia, Grand Duke George of Russia, and former Tsar Simeon of the Bulgarians. Among Protestant Sovereigns and Princes, Queen (now Princess) Beatrix of the Netherlands, and her parents Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard, all received the Grand Cross of the Order of Malta, as did King Edward VII of Great Britain and Ireland. There were many others as well and none of them swore any oath to the Pope.

As for the Constantinian Order, of which I am Vice-Grand Chancellor, King Simeon of the Bulgarians, King Paul and King Constantine of the Hellenes, all received the same rank, without having to make any promise to the Pope – who in any case does not award the Order. Emperor Alexander I of Russia also received this Order. This has also been given to the Duke of Anhalt, head of a German former reigning House. Historically the Constantinian Order was given to several distinguished Protestant and Orthodox noblemen as a special honour, without them becoming actual members of the Order.

The Order of the Golden Fleece, given by the King of Spain, is also an Order limited to Roman Catholics, but there is a provision that it can be given to extra-numerary members who are not Catholics; the first to receive this under this rules were the British Prince Regent, future King George IV, and the Duke of Wellington, and it was also given to the Emperors Alexander I and Nicholas I of Russia and their brothers Grand Duke Constantine and Michael (all Orthodox), and to the Kings of Prussia and Denmark (Protestants)., and many other Orthodox and Protestant princes and sovereign during the course of the 19th century. In 1902 it was even given to the king of Thailand and the Shah of Persia. Today the recipients include Queen Elisabeth II of the United Kingdom, Princess (former Queen) Beatrix of the Netherlands and Queen Margarethe of Denmark (all three Protestants), former King Simeon of the Bulgarians and former King Constantine of Greece (both Orthodox), and among the recent members were the late King Hussein of Jordan, the late King Bhumibol of Thailand, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the former Emperor of Japan. This is an example of an ancient and distinguished Catholic Order whose insignia can be awarded to non-Catholics.

In the three examples of these Orders, all were decorated with the insignia as an honour. It is notable that Crown Prince Alexander has been accorded the same honours as the heads of so many distinguished royal houses, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant, as a recognition of his standing and prestige.


Guy Stair Sainty

Vice Grand Chancellor

Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George