What is the Significance of Our Royal Patron?
Paul Henry, Prior VI, and Kathleen Watson, Prior IV
Priory of St. David of Wales in New England

A member of a royal family can become a representative or supporter of an organization as a patron, working to help promote and recognize the group's work. HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for instance, is the Royal Patron for numerous organizations – ranging from science and the arts to healthcare and the military. What does it mean for the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem to have a Royal Patron?

Many orders of knighthood, or orders of chivalry, were founded or inspired by the Catholic military orders of the Crusades, paired with concepts of chivalry prevalent during the Middles Ages, often formed by groups of individuals. The Knights Templar were ultimately recognized by the Pope, Dynastic orders came into being in the 13th century. These orders were established under royal patronage – that is by the royal family of a current or formerly sovereign state. Thus the royal patron, with respect to these orders of knighthood, was seen as the fount of honor – an individual who has the right to confer legitimate titles and orders.

According to the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry a genuine order of chivalry must have a fount of honor (“fons honorum” in Latin) as either its founder or as its principal patron to be considered genuine. Another indication of legitimacy is recognition by international bodies.

With our current Royal Patron, HRH Elisabeth Marie Alexandra zu Ysenburg und Büdingen zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (HRH Elisabeth), and through our status as a United Nations Non-Governmental-Organization (NGO) the authenticity of our chivalric order is doubly confirmed. What follows is some information about our Royal Patron.

Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth has been the Royal Patron of the Grand Priory of the USA since 1996. She was a guest at several SMOTJ events and, with the encouragement of BG Chev. Patrick Rea, was formally invested as a member of the Order in 1995 in the Priory of St. John the Baptist. She accepted the role of patron for the Grand Priory within a year and is the first royal personage to assume that position since the death of HRM King Peter II of Yugoslavia in 1970.

She has honored the Grand Priory by attending, supporting and participating in many of the SMOTJ events since then, including a reception and dinner for The Reverend Canon Andrew White hosted by the Priory of St. David of Wales at the Algonquin Club of Boston in 2010. She was awarded the Grand Cordon of the GPUSA Order of Merit in 1996. Subsequently, she agreed to become the Royal Patron of the Sovereign Military Order Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH).

Princess Elisabeth is the widow of His Serene Highness Prince Ferdinand Heinrich of Ysenburg and eldest daughter of Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Her mother is Duchess Anastasia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She is the great-granddaughter of Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, wife of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and daughter of Grand Duke Michael of Russia, younger son of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.

Princess Elisabeth is descended twice from Empress Catherine II “the Great” of Russia. Also, she is a great-great-granddaughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and a great-great-great-great granddaughter of King George III of Great Britain, America’s last King. Princess Elisabeth of Ysenburg is a third cousin of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.


July/August 2020
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  Words from the Grand Prior

  World Week of Peace

  Grand Chirurgeon: An Introduction

  Royal Patron Significance

  Augusta Victoria Hospital

  True Templar Giving

  OSMTH Bridge Building

  Hagia Sophia Concern

  Support Holy Land Christians: How?

  Always Forward

  In Disguise

  GPUSA Calendar

  Calling All Templar Poets

Chev. Jeffrey Peter Agnes, GCTJ, GMTJ, Grand Prior XXII

Templar Times Editor
Chvse. Analee V. Evans, GOTJ
Deputy Grand Editor
The Rev. Chvse Anne M Fraley, SCTJ

Chvse. Michael Ann Robinson DCTJ
Chev. Robert Orin Holmes, Sr., GCTJ, CMTJ

Priory of the Light June 2020 Newsletter

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam ®

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