International Commission for Orders of Chivalry
2007-02-17 15:30:40 UTC
But George Lucky indirectly - knowing part of this history because my
wife talked with him in Scotland at St Andrew 2006 - refers to me
quoting an Italian...
Because of honesty I think it is fit I explain everything I know about
When in 1999 I took on the presidency of ICOC (International
Commission for Orders of Chivalry) I promised to my conscience and to
all those who wanted I assumed this charge that I should have avoided
to be influenced by anybody, following always a way of seriousness,
honesty and a "supra partes" behaviour.
I promised also that I should have listened and helped all the persons
who asked advice to me showing a willing of seriousness in a so
difficult field as genealogy, heraldry and chivalry is.
Today ICOC has given advice to about 20 States, I am not a freemason
but I helped a Masonic regular obedience to create its own awarding
systems according to scientific criteria, and finding solutions to
list also this kind of this awards in a serious honest manner.
I persuaded an historical fake Templar Order (founded in 1867), to
declare that it is a fake order, and to transform itself in a serious
Institute for the study of the history of the past Order of the
Indeed these appear successes to me.
As scholar I am a pragmatic and personally I dont give value to kind
of grant or recognition (nobiliary titles or chivalric orders or
recognition by nobiliary associations or bodies) which does not come
from a State where the nobiliary/chivalric matter is still today
And I am much more strict for my own Country, Italy, where not all of
the nobiliary recognitions made during the Kingdom of Italy were made
in honest manner, but sometimes only because of opportunity (I believe
it is necessary to examine again all the past recognitions of nobility
to control the veracity according the modern scientific criteria). I
dont issue comments about other States because my knowledge is not so
deep to judge.
Less and less I consider valid every private grant, as those coming
from kings/chiefs of former Imperial/Royal Houses ect out of the
I have nothing to do with these grants or orders of King Kigeli and I
dont work for him but gave him my sincere advice which at that time
was well considered and applied by the King.
I mean my invention as it is said on the diploma of grant agreed with
me by the King Kigeli: "title of honours, correspondent to the
hereditary nobiliary of ... in the European usage" and "... We engage
ourselves to make lawful, valid and executive... at the moment of Our
return on the throne..."
But now I must explain the reason of this advice (that has a
scientific bases and historical precedents) by me issued to the
Everybody knows here Carl Lindgren (I never met him in person), who
made greatest progresses in these matters; all of you will remember
when he was not able to understand the difference between a true
order and a fake one. Many times he publicly admitted his errors as
nobody made on this newsgroup. He could be also considered odd, or
sick of honors, and I know that he considers himself a "wannabee", but
I must say that for me he is an honest person, who does not gain on
chivalry and this is the reason why I gave him my suggestion to help
Also because I am aware of which kind of life lived King Kigeli, with
his undisputable love and help in favour of his People.
Carl Lindgren told me that some nobiliary titles (at the European
manner) were granted by King Kigeli who was approached - as it happens
in every dinasty - by persons with the purpose to make him grant
Because this thing appeared strange to Lindgren he turned himself to
me as expert on the matter to help the King who is a person who
Because some grants were still made, it was necessary to correct and
to justify these grants.
To avoid damage to the King Kigeli.
And I advised about which right solution was possible in a still
existing situation (this is the reason of this solution because it was
conditioned by the existing reality.
If this reality was not existing clearly my advice should have been
different and I had suggested to not create such kind of honours).
I think that who follows this newsgroup should bring only
clarification to the explanation of the facts, demonstrating a deep
competence on the argument and avoiding to show an attitude near to
racism, prejudice, not willing to know or see what is out of Europe,
and what can happen out of European history.
Everybody knows that King Kigeli (as all the kings or chiefs of former
Royal/Imperial Houses) is not an expert about nobility or chivalric
It is necessary to consider - as I made because so it was told me -
that through these grants the King Kigeli was helping his people,
without obtaining a personal benefit.
But I want to remember that by my point of view I dont give value to
these as other nobiliary titles or "chivalric" orders that today live
only in the dreams of the persons who receive them.
When a thing is private or of courtesy can remain only so!
And clearly this is the case (as it is the case of all in Europe when
the Sovereign is not on the throne).
I met the King Kigeli in Casale Monferrato on March 2006 because he
participated in the Ballo dei Cento e non più Cento, that was an
occasion to talk with me about the argument.
According to the discussion with me and following my suggestion the
King decided to grant only honors that are not nobiliary titles as in
the European meaning.
I find odd that in this newsgroup it is continued to talk about
nobiliary titles in XXI Century, thinking in the same manner than in
the past without finding new solutions.
In this case if the honours granted by the King Kigeli can become
valid in Africa in XXI Century, however they cannot be comparable to
the ancient European nobiliary titles.
To make an example about the change of the meaning of a word, "Gotha"
in the past was only the book "Almanach de Gotha", today it indicates
the top in different kind of categories that have nothing to do with
the ancient book.
But still today there are many persons (and many on this newsgroup)
who love the word "count", "marquis", "duke"... a term today void of
its past meaning.
In few words according to my advice the King of Rwanda decided to
grant honours that can be comparable to the ancient European nobiliary
titles... but in the sense it is given them after Napoleon I, that is
only honours, although named nobiliary titles.
The titles given after Napoleon - although they are nobiliary titles -
have nothing to do with the concept of the past nobiliary titles (at
least in great part of the Europe).
It is really a bit ridiculous that the King of Rwanda in exile grants
honors which bring the name of ancient European nobiliary titles but
as Macchiavelli affirmed "Il fine giustifica i mezzi" (the end
justifies the means)
In fact the King to help His people will do what He considers fit, and
to grant these honors is useful to help His people.
What is wrong in this? The honesty of the King stays in the promise
that - if He returns to the throne - He will make valid these honors.
And as I am a bank manager I should call these grants "cambiali in
bianco" (blank drafts), this is an unusual thing but which is made.
About these grants similar to blank drafts in a point of discussion
with Lindgren (New secretary general for King Kigeli) Lucky recalls to
this modern example: "outside of marriage being termed 'marriage
I should reply so: yes, today in many Countries it is so, and the
Monarchies teach on this argument: Spain, Holland, Sweden etc.
I was particularly touched by the fact that this newsgroup is followed
by many Americans.
To them I should remember this: dont you know that there are in USA
honors which have a name recalling antique European nobiliary titles?
But surely nobody thinks they are nobiliary titles!
I mean ie Count of Pulaski, Duque of Albuquerque, Duke of Hazard, Duke
They are only honors coming from an effective Authority, who decided
to grant these honors, without being a monarch and in a Country where
does not exist a nobiliary tradition, or the tradition to grant
nobiliary titles. And these honours have a name of nobiliary European
Do you think there is something wrong or illegal in this?
As I said before the problem is that a lot of people (as some of you
too) love the word "count" "marquis" "duke" ecc... that all think they
are "nobiliary tiles" while an expert begins to ask himself: "are
always they nobiliary titles"?
As you have seen with my example today the words "count" - "marquis" -
"duke" are not always nobiliary titles and the USA Authorities do not
consider them nobiliary titles, but only honors.
I repeat, I am pragmatic and for me every title coming from a former
Sovereign (or his descendants) has no legal public official value (I
include not only Africa, but particularly old Europe).
No official State Authority recognizes such titles (courtesy nobiliary
titles), although there are today former European Royal Houses who
continue to grant nobiliary titles (this is a recent fact of which I
do not want to talk for the moment).
The Rwanda Honors are honors that now have a moral value inside the
Dynasty and among those who are supporters of King Kigeli.
If Kigeli returns to the throne the honors will have effective value
in a form that can be accepted by Kingdom of Rwanda.
But I repeat these honours are a manner to help the cause of the King
because the possibility He returns to the throne is far.
There are historical examples of the same case: in Italy King Umberto
II granted nobiliary titles to help the Monarchist Party, and the King
Umberto II (Costitutional King) did not have the power (according to
the law) to grant them.
But a lot of people consider them valid... although today less and
less, including SMOM.
But also if they are only sheets of paper, they have a sure moral
Before Umberto II there was King Francesco II who promised that the
nobiliary titles granted by him should have become valid at his return
on the throne.
The honor (not the nobiliary title which did not exist in Rwanda) is
immediately valid in private (as every honour or nobiliary title or
chivalric order given by a private authority, a former Royal/Imperial
House). But it is not possible to continue to think about the
classical concept of nobility as in the past, in a world in continue
Also the King of Spain has now changed the law about succession to
nobiliary titles, causing an injustice because he violated the
traditional law of succession of the nobiliary titles established by
the diplomas of concession. But new times justify new solutions...
And if you think about this new fact, now there will be in the most
part of the cases 2 persons who scholarly have the right to be
considered titular of the same nobiliary title:
1) the person who obtained the succession by the King;
2) the person who has the historical right according to the diploma of
For a scholar both of them is right! Is it not so?
So the King of Rwanda has found new solutions. Nothing wrong.
It was also said by Lucky "Leaving aside the allegations of Bokassa's
cannibalism and other excesses - we are still left with the tragic
caricature of Bokassa's Central African Empire - the incredible
poverty of the country and the brutish ostentation of the Emperor's
enthronement and brief reign. I am very surprised that anyone would
advise the King to do anything to emulate any aspect of the Central
I believe that Lindgren did not affirm that the King was advised to
emulate the bad history of Central African Empire. This example was
quoted only as historical precedent and nothing more.
About "ritual" cannibalism I must add it was not proved and Bokassa
was not condemned by this, and recently the historian Ariel Toaff of
Jerusalem has written a book recalling himself to the age of ritual
murderers of little Christian children as proved fact in the history
There are bad moments in the history of every people.
Do you need another example about new nobiliary titles invented by
Kings who did not have the tradition of granting European nobiliary
Here it is: Haiti Kingdom, where princes, dukes, marquises, counts,
barons, knights were created ex-novo.
To talk about the last King of Montenegro I remember that he granted
nobiliary titles (European tradition) while he did not have the power
because the laws of his Country did not contemplate this, and the
European titles did not exist in Montenegro.
The same thing for the last king of Yugoslavia.
But the persons who obtained this kind of inexistent "nobiliary
titles" were proud of them because of the moral great value others
attributed to them as it happens for all the courtesy grants coming
from former Royal/Imperial Houses.
Clearly I remember in scientific ambient all those grants do not have
the value the beneficiaries give them.
This as I explained was the situation of these grants until Carl
Lindgren maintained his charge near the King.
But now - because I did not receive further confirmations about the
policy followed by his successor (I wrote to receive explanations
without result) I dont know what the King (or better who for him) will
decide to do.
Clearly out of a similar interpretation given to these grants
(honours) by a scholar it is very difficult to discover a true
I received some e.mails asking my personal opinion about the "Orders
I considers them as awards (political orders) created ex-novo in the
exile of the King (because although I asked documents, I did not see
nothing so their previous existence cannot scientifically be proved at
least for me).
Surely the King Kigeli - as other former Sovereigns or Chiefs of House
made - is right in creating new awards (orders), that have value
(private) only among his supporters and among those who want to give
them value, and are different from those created in Europe.
I was exaustive and I dont have nothing to add.
Pier Felice degli Uberti