Chapter Five:  (Volume II)
SOVEREIGNTY, CHIVALRY, HERALDRY, AND TITLES OF NOBILITY
Chapter Table of Contents

Orders of Chivalry and Sovereignty
Heraldry, Sovereignty, and Prescription
Non-Sovereign Titles of Nobility can also be Lost
The Use of Domestic Non-Sovereign Cultural Titles and Honors

 Orders of Chivalry and Sovereignty

          A conference of leading international scholars on Heraldry, Genealogy and Chivalry in 1965 set out principles needed in order to distinguish the true and genuine from the phony orders that are self-styled and lack legitimacy.  They concluded:

          Although, at one time -- many centuries ago -- private people of high standing could and did create some independent Orders of Knighthood, some among which came, in due course, to gain considerable prestige and obtained formal validity from . . . the Crown . . .  [however] now-a-days, Orders of Chivalry . . . must always stem from or be . . . under the protection of Chiefs of Houses of recognised sovereign rank.[1]

          Organizations that are not sovereign, such as church organizations [barring the Popes since they are sovereign], clubs, or fraternities cannot create or perpetuate legitimate orders of chivalry.  The royal prerogative of granting noble titles, honors, and knighthoods are inseparably connected with sovereignty.  Thus, the legitimacy of an order of chivalry depends upon its possession by a sovereign.  "[All] existing Orders of Chivalry must be dependent upon a sovereign prince, or be themselves sovereign."[2]  There are no exceptions to this.  "Sovereignty . . . [is] a purely secular [political, civil, or governmental] form of authority . . . ," not a religious one.[3]  Sovereignty is derived from the Latin word superanus, which means supreme above all.  It refers to secular, political, or governmental authority.  In contrast, it does not refer to religious [barring the Popes], police, military, municipal, or some other kind of authority that is not supreme.  The point is, "everything and everybody, including the clergy, was subordinate to it."[4] That is, "Sovereignty is the authority to override all other authorities. Family, employer, church – all . . . must yield to the sovereign’s power. . . ."[5]

          There is but one supreme power in the state; the functions of the subordinate powers vary according to their different objects: -- ecclesiastics, magistrates, and commanders of the troops, are all officers . . . each in his own department; and all are equally accountable to the sovereign.[6]

          A legitimate noble title or valid knighthood always has a legitimate royal source called a fons honorum or fountain of honor.  Noble titles and genuine knighthoods come from the heads of royal families, not from governments.  A republican government, although sovereign, cannot be a fons honorum for royal or noble titles or chivalric honors.  These distinctions of honor can only come from a genuine royal House.  That is, the honor must come from a reigning or deposed House that still holds the right and entitlements of sovereignty.  Put another way, ". . . Knighthood . . . can only be conferred by a Sovereign."[7] (emphasis added)  Hence, "Orders of Chivalry . . . [must be] under the protection of chiefs or of Houses of recognized sovereign rank."[8]

          "The ‘royal prerogative’ [consists of] the sovereign rights to authority uniquely held by the monarch."[9]  Kings and sovereign princes are, by virtue of their royalty, the embodiment of all the glory of their nations.  "The royal prerogative was the pre-eminence which the king [or sovereign prince], by virtue of his [regal] office, enjoyed over his subjects."[10]  This includes the exclusive right to honor others and reward merit with noble or knightly status.  This is expressed in the word Jus Honorum.

          This right, which is not limited only to the power to grant titles of nobility but also the faculty to bestow other marks of honor, such as pensions, knightly orders, civil and military awards, is strictly connected to the attributes of sovereignty.[11]

          In fact, ". . . the jus honorum can not exist without the attribute of sovereignty. . . ."[12]  Please note what King Edward III of England by official decree wrote:

          . . . By virtue of our Royal Prerogative, being the fountain of honour, we have instituted, erected, constituted, and created, and by these our letters patents do institute, erect, constitute, and create, a Military Order of Knighthood, to be, and be called for ever hereafter by the name and title of The Order of the Bath; whereof we, our heirs and successors, Kings of this realm, for ever shall be Sovereigns. . . .[13]

          In other words, ". . . Knighthood was . . . part of the royal prerogative, and none could be held without the sovereign’s permission."[14]  The Sovereign Order of Malta (commonly known by the acronym SMOM) explained that:

          The concept of an Order of Chivalry is that the head is a [reigning] Sovereign, the [deposed] lawful successor of such a Sovereign, or a person appointed directly by the authority of such a Sovereign. . . .  Membership in an Order of Chivalry can only be conferred by the Sovereign or by a person acting on behalf of the Sovereign and with the consent of the member.[15]

          The inescapable conclusion is that the validity or legitimacy of an order of chivalry depends entirely upon its possession of a sovereign fons honorum.  Sovereignty is the only master key that can unlock this important door.  In other words, it is an unequivocal certainty that only a living sovereign can create new honors.

          There are certain entities that by their very nature are not capable of being owned by private individuals; these entities may only be owned by international public persons.  These include public ships (state war vessels), state nuclear weaponry, the beds of navigable rivers, the public roads, state military bases, etc.  These things, by their very nature, are not capable of private law ownership.  Such may be owned only by an international person, be it a state or a sovereign monarch.  The above items may be termed objects of public international law.

          Among such objects of international law are legitimate orders of chivalry.  To be legitimate, an order must have a living sovereign who is the fons honorum.  Without this, the legitimacy of the order of chivalry lapses or ceases to be a public right.  In other words, no private person can own a true order of chivalry.  Because the legitimacy of an order of chivalry depends upon its possession by a sovereign, true and authentic orders must be objects of public international law.  Otherwise, the "order" is merely a private club or social organization that only imitates what is authentic and genuine.

          Any one (including a club, church, or fraternity) can give out a private title or honor, but only an international public person or government (that is, an entity with authentic sovereignty) can legally give out official public titles and honors under international law.  These distinctions, such as the recipient being ennobled or knighted, are appropriate and encouraged to be used openly and without reservation, except in countries that forbid the use of titles or honors.  Discretion and good judgment are always welcome and helpful in any situation.

          On the other hand, private titles, "knighthoods," etc., received in a club, fraternity, church (barring Papal honors), or other organizations are not in good taste to be used in public or on the internet unless they are qualified as private.  To do otherwise is to be disingenuous, mislead others and is therefore in poor taste.  Thus, "Any pretended ‘sovereign’ Order is nothing more than a voluntary society or association, and members should not wear any insignia or use any styles or titles to which they may be entitled [within their club, fraternity, etc.] outside the private functions of such groups."[16]

          Conversely, if one is knighted or ennobled by a true sovereign, holding this supreme right, such a person has a public law right to the title.  It can and should be used openly; this indirectly honors the sovereign that granted it.

          There is an important distinction between the highest secular authority on earth, which is sovereignty, and religious or spiritual authority.  Grotius explained that:

          Christ himself . . . said, his kingdom was not of this world, that is, was not of the same nature, with other kingdoms [who hold sovereignty], otherwise, like the rest of sovereigns, he would have maintained his authority by the power of the sword.[17] (See John 18:36)

          The Lord told his followers, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion [sovereignty] over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But it shall not be so among you. . . ." (Matthew 20:25-26) (emphasis added)  He further explained that His followers were to be "servants" and "ministers" instead of monarchs or rulers.  They were ". . . to be subject to principalities [the sovereign rulers of these territories] and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." (Titus 3:1)  It is important to understand that:

          The Patriarchs [religious leaders] are not Sovereigns, or even claimants to Sovereignty, and therefore lack the authority to found or give their protection to Orders of Chivalry. . . .[18]

          The point is, ". . . Sovereignty is the fountain of honor."[19] (emphasis added)  As mentioned earlier, of the religious orders, only the Roman Catholic orders are valid and authentic.  This is because the Pope is a reigning sovereign prince over a state.  In addition, he is a de jure, non-territorial sovereign as well.  Thus, orders of chivalry under his protection are fully genuine.

          Commenting on ecclesiastical orders, other than the Papal orders, the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry (ICOC) declared them to be imitations and not chivalric in nature.  Yet these "orders" use chivalric terms; this is unfortunate as it makes them appear to be something that they most certainly are not.  Regarding this issue, the ICOC has declared, "We invite these Authorities to use more proper terms for any future creations of awards."  The reason for this is that ". . . none of [them] . . . possess any type of direct Sovereignty. . . ."[20]

          Dynastic orders of knighthood are a category of orders belonging to the heraldic patrimony of a dynasty, often held by ancient rights.  They are sometimes called Family Orders, in that they are strictly related to a Royal Family or House.  They differ from the early military and religious orders and from the latter orders of merit belonging to a particular State, having been instituted to reward personal services rendered to a dynasty or an ancient Family of princely rank.  These Orders are the exclusive property of a Sovereign, and they remain such even if he goes into exile, and are transmissible to his legitimate successor and Head of the Family. . . .
          A Sovereign in exile and his legitimate successor and Head of the Family continue to enjoy the Jus Collationis (the right to confer honours) and therefore may bestow honours in full legitimacy . . . .
          The Holy See recognizes all legitimate Dynastic Orders which correspond with requirements of international norms, whether they are granted by a reigning Sovereign or by a Sovereign in exile or his legitimate Successor and Head of the Royal Family and House.[21]  

          Deposed dynasts must have, according to prescription and the laws of nature, consistently used their titles and the symbols of their sovereignty through all their generations to have maintained them.  They must be able to prove that this took place for their claims to be valid.

          The principle of prescription . . . [concerning an ousted monarch and his family] although unjustly deprived of possession, should retain its rights of sovereignty, [but not] unless it made a constant and appropriate effort to keep them alive, and that by ceaseless protest [the use of titles and arms] against the acts of the wrongdoer [the usurper].[22]  

          The consistent and obvious use of exalted titles and arms are equivalent to a series of effective diplomatic protests that are fully sufficient to prevent the loss of de jure internal non-territorial rights.

          Subject to the conditions reiterated above, the following holds true:

          . . . the Chief of a Royal House retains valid heraldic and chivalric rights in himself as a FONS HONORUM and the more so when monarchs who have been ousted from their thrones have not abdicated as with the case with King Umberto of Italy, King Simeon of Bulgaria, King Michael of Romania and the late King Peter of Yugoslavia, is particularly true.[23]

          None of these great men willingly renounced or abdicated their rights, and they continued the uninterrupted use of their exalted titles and arms.  This is also the situation with HM King Kigeli V of Rwanda, who ruled his kingdom from 1959 to 1961.  In 1961, the monarchy and the whole nation were overthrown by an illegal and heart-rending rebellion that included extensive acts of genocide.  But the King never abdicated, although he was forced to leave the country.  He later obtained political asylum status in the United States, and he continues to live around Washington, D.C.  HM King Kigeli V, like many other royals, honors those who contribute to his charities.  In discussing the rights of this deposed king to grant titles and orders, Dr. W. H. Jones rightfully declared:

          There are no governing principles or international law or custom that he must follow.  The King, if he chose to do so, could create an entirely new system of aristocracy, honours, titles or anything else that followed neither European nor African precedents.[24]

          Since sovereignty is the highest secular legal right on earth, the King and his rightful future heirs may use that great power to rightfully award noble titles and the privileges of knighthood.
          In conclusion, to determine the validity or falseness of any claim to be a legitimate order of chivalry is fairly easy.  It must have a living, not dead, fons honorum to make it real, genuine and authentic.  Even, if a so-called order, has a living patron, who is a true monarch, this does not make the order sovereign or a legitimate order.  The order must either be sovereign, in and of itself, or it must be a dynastic or house order; that is, an order owned and operated by a true and genuine royal house, because a "patron" is merely "a person chosen, named, or honored as a special guardian, protector, or supporter," but not the actual possessor, head and ruler thereof.[25]
          Since no religious leaders or organizations have sovereignty, an order that only has a spiritual patron, is not a valid order of chivalry.  However, there is the exception, the Catholic Pope, because he actually holds sovereignty as the legitimate monarch over a tiny, but independent sovereign dominion, is a sovereign, and therefore his orders are valid.
          During the 12th century, ". . . when governments were unsettled, and laws little regarded, the laws of chivalry alone imposed a salutary check upon a rude and barbarous age."[26]  Chivalry was something uniquely special in reforming a society in the dark ages.  It ranked second only to religion in shaping the people from brutish violence to the higher ideals of virtue, honor, and courage.  While there were many people who did not actually live by these virtues, there were many who did.  An example of a man exemplifying this ideal was the famed William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, who was eulogized him as the "best knight that ever lived."[27]

          Chivalry is . . . that general spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic actions, and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world.[28]

          John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) wrote:

          . . . Chivalry fell . . . sadly short of its theoretic standard. . . . [However,] it remains one of the most precious monuments of the moral history of our race, as a remarkable instance of a concerted and organized attempt by a most disorganized and distracted society, to raise up and carry into practice a moral ideal greatly in advance of its social condition and institutions, so much so as to have . . . left a most sensible, and for the most part a highly valuable impress on the ideas and feelings of all subsequent times.[29]

          Since its formation in medieval times, its influence has been far-reaching.  Everything -- politics, religion, pastimes, art, architecture, games, warfare, love, manners, courtliness, and social relations were altered for the better.  The very ideals that chivalry still evoke, even in the modern age, are images of heroic service that promotes goodness while defending the weak.  In contradistinction, the statutes of secular state orders are absolutely devoid of solemn oaths that encourage future Christian acts of goodness or the honor of the Creator of all things:

          . . . It was the secular State in the eighteen-hundreds which finally took upon itself to rid society and all civil institutions of every religious influence and character.  The Ancient Orders of Knighthood were consequently replaced, in most cases, by [secular] Orders of Merit newly instituted by the State, generally following the pattern of the Legion d’Honneur founded by the French Republic in 1802.  In truth, it was a normal development since the feudal loyalty demanded by the original chivalric system was no longer consistent with the tenets of modern society.[30]  

          Thus, there are a number of important distinctions between a true order of chivalry and a secular state order.  There are also some minor similarities between the two.  The insignia of a state order often mimics the decorations of true orders that convey authentic knighthood, but the state order usually has little or no ceremony, no oath of loyalty to high ideals, no bonds of brotherhood, no tradition of a quest, no call to fight evil, promote good, and defend the helpless and the oppressed.  In summary, a state order generally does nothing to commit a person to a higher level of life in the future.  Also, state orders are also generally stripped of the following components: an oath of loyalty to a sovereign, nobility, heraldry, a quest for truth, and religious influence.  In short, they have lost the ancient spirit and purpose of chivalry.

 Heraldry, Sovereignty, and Prescription

          Heraldry is a most beautiful and fascinating art that is deeply rooted in history and tradition.  There is still a considerable amount of interest in it today.  Modern company logos have their roots in heraldry; although it has evolved through the centuries, the art form has been largely retained.  The purpose of this art is to obtain a graphic identity that reflects a tradition of honor, integrity, and distinction.  Heraldry is a visible link to one’s family, but it also is a tangible connection with the past, present, and future.  A coat of arms inspires the best traditions of chivalry, which include honesty, justice, bravery, and honor.  Heraldry contains an inner hope for future generations to share in this identity and for descendants to obtain their own accomplishments while representing the larger family.

          Heraldry has a deep interconnectedness with sovereignty, but it is especially associated with regal sovereignty.  This is because ". . . the [true] granting and creation of arms . . . is admittedly an attribute of sovereignty. . ." by royal houses.[31]  Like knighthood, heraldry was originally practiced independent of the highest sovereign authorities of the land.  However, beginning with the First Crusades (1096 – 1100 A.D.), it gradually became the exclusive domain of kings and the sovereign princes.  Eventually, only the highest suzerains granted official heraldry.  Knowledgeable professional officers called heralds were appointed to administer the rights of arms and keep the practice unified so that heraldic identities could be preserved.  Armorial bearings granted to dominions, states, provinces, and colonies had great significance because they reflected "established sovereignty;" this demonstrated "the realities of power" and the sovereign right to rule these lands.[32]

          Each sovereign kingdom or principality was anciently known by its public armorial bearings (i.e., rampant Lyon for Scotland, fleur de lis for France, Double Eagle for Austria, Harp for Ireland, etc.) as ensigns of authority over that realm and all the lieges thereof.  Dynastic law became an integral part of the law of arms (i.e. heraldic law), because the rightful possession of certain armorial ensigns concerned succession claims to sovereign nations and various vassals and fiefs.  This was one of the first international laws to be respected and acknowledged throughout Western Europe.  The heralds became so important that they originally performed the function of emissaries or ambassadors between sovereigns.  They also enjoyed the legal immunity accorded to diplomatic personnel.  Accordingly, the rules of the law of arms provided some of the original rules of international law.  Specifically, heraldry provided the context for the interpretation and application of dynastic law, rightful claims, and legal succession.

          By . . . the late fourteenth century – the heralds had achieved an established position and were dignified figures in the chivalrous world.  They were the acknowledged experts in armoury and in all matters of secular ceremony: in the display of jousts and tournaments, in the judgment of prowess, in the panoply of coronations, knightings and funerals.  Heralds also had important functions in the field in wartime.  It was their business to record promotions to knighthood on the eve of battle, to search after it among the dead and to note the names and arms of those who had shown prowess in the field.  Most important of all, perhaps, in practical terms, they had achieved recognised immunity from hostile action, and therefore acted in war as messengers between belligerents.  If a personal defiance was to be delivered, if a city was to be summoned to surrender, if a truce was sought or if safe-conducts were required to enable negotiators to meet and discuss terms (of truce, peace, or surrender), a herald would be dispatched to carry the message or request.  By the fifteenth century the great heralds, the Kings of Arms who were the leaders of their profession, had in consequence come to play a quite significant role in princely diplomacy.[33]

          Thus, heraldry became an international concern and law of identity.  Colleges of Arms were established to ensure proper usage and that armorial bearings had royal authority and prerogative.  There are two universal heraldic practices that are especially pertinent to this inquiry, and each refers to the rights of sovereignty:

           (1)  Arms Of Dominion Are those which belong to sovereigns, princes, and heads of commonwealths, in right of their sovereignty; as the three lions of England, the fleur-de-lis of France, the cross of Savoy, &c, &c.
          These arms cannot be said to be the personal bearings of the sovereign, as they pertain to the nation rather than to the individual, as an insignia of public authority, vested in the reigning sovereign, and thus borne by successive monarchs, though of different race.
          Those who ascend the throne by election, carry their arms on an escutcheon placed in the centre of the arms of the dominion to which they are elected; as the Emperors of Germany and Kings of Poland used to do.  Thus, William, Prince of Orange, placed his arms over those of England and Scotland, as an elective king.[34]

          (2)  Arms Of Pretension Are those of kingdoms and territories to which some scion of the reigning house, or descendants of former deposed monarchs, conceiving they are entitled to the sovereignty in lieu of the de facto ruler, add to their own arms.  Thus for a lengthened period, after England had lost the faintest semblance of authority in, or right to the kingdom of France, the arms of that kingdom were quartered with our own, till in 1801, on the union with Ireland, the harp of the sister isle took the place of the fleur-de-lis. In the same manner Spain has quartered the arms of Portugal and Jerusalem, and Denmark those of Sweden.[35]

          The arms of a state [or the king who is the embodiment of the state] are emblems of the dignity and the possession of its territories, or of its right to them; for sometimes the state [that is, the king or sovereign prince] bears both the title and arms of countries which it is not in possession of.  This is partly to keep up a [legal] claim to them, and partly in memorial of former possession.[36] (emphasis added)

          As mentioned above, when a deposed king, sovereign prince, or a rightful successor thereto continues to consistently use the titles and arms of dominion, it becomes a protest against the usurpation of the sovereign’s de jure right.  The arms of dominion therefore become genuine arms of pretension.  For all subsequent royal generations, bearing these arms is an unmistakable sign of the retention of a de jure claim to rightful sovereignty.  This is a major means of perpetuating a claim, and it is legally powerful.

          ". . . Mary [Queen of Scots, while in France as the daughter-in-law of Henry II, King of France] came to adopt the English royal style in her title and bear the arms of England in her heraldic quartering."[37]  Mary was a grand-daughter of Henry VIII of England.  Her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, was considered by many to be the illegitimate daughter of Anne Boleyn, and illegitimate children were not to hold majesty and glory in the kingdom.  Therefore, many considered Mary to be the rightful sovereign.  Thus, the heraldic act of adopting the arms of England and taking the title of Queen was a blatant, official, and unmistakable international signal that Mary was claiming to be the rightful Queen of England over Queen Elizabeth I.  This action was responded to by force, and Mary ultimately became a prisoner of Queen Elizabeth I.  While history also shows many other similar examples, the point is that heraldic symbols are important in international law.  National symbols of sovereignty represent the greatness of a nation as well as its legal right to rule.

          [The greatness of an ideal] can only be symbolized; it has no palpable shape or substance.  The State [or a non-territorial kingdom or government] is invisible; it must be personified before it can be seen; symbolized before it can be loved; imagined before it can be conceived.[38]

          The use of arms is a substantial manifestation of a sovereign claim.  The only legal right to bear such arms is through the uninterrupted, legitimate succession of the sovereign line that is territorially dispossessed.  History is full of examples where the bearing of a title and the arms of dominion or pretension are an unmistakable demonstration of a de jure internal sovereignty claim.

          King Edward III of England, because his mother was a direct senior line descendant of the rightful kings of France and the existing senior line of France failed to produce an heir, the young Edward of Windsor (1312 - 1377), King of England, took the title and arms of France to officially make his claim as the rightful heir to the French throne.

          The Kingdom of Prussia, whenever it obtained the sovereign rights of a new principality, dukedom, or county by conquest, purchase, treaty, or court procedures, generally added the arms of the new territory to the grand royal arms of the kingdom.  The kingdom also added the title of the territory to the official regal title used for official dealings with other nations.  Historical examples of this are the Duke of Magdeburg or Prince of Paderborn.  This was such a common practice that it was recognized and perpetuated as the primary way to display a sovereign claim for a royal House.

          The right to bear personal arms can be obtained in three major ways: (1) by family inheritance or succession, (2) by grant from a sovereign or his or her herald, or (3) by prescription.  Prescription in this case, as in other international issues, means ". . . any arms which have been continuously borne for three generations, or at least one hundred years."[39]  This is the same prescriptive law used both in the ancient practice of land acquisition and internationally, under the law of nations, between sovereign kings and territories.

          After 1686, "heralds could no longer maintain their authority, enforce their commands, or punish delinquents by means of . . . Court."[40]  Generally, state courts rarely accepted heraldic disputes, so heraldry eventually lost the legal significance under domestic law that it once held.   "The practical use of heraldry now consists in whatever value it may possess of furnishing proofs in questions of descent and pedigrees in cases of disputed titles to honours, dignities, and inheritances."[41] (emphasis added)  Yet, heraldry remains a significant force for good in genealogical research.  The desire to know one’s background is an innate desire that many people have, and heraldry is the visual representation of a family’s heritage.

          Genealogy cannot help but be an important part of any evaluation of a European sovereign claim.  However, the mere fact that a person has royal ancestors does not give one regal titles and rights, nor does it necessarily give them permission to use the heraldry of the royal ancestor.  It is a recognized fact that most people on earth are commoners even though many have royal ancestors.  For example, two major genealogical studies concluded that "Edward III is a common ancestor of well over 80% -- probably over 95% -- of the living English-descended population of England."[42]  "If you have any descent from British folk of the last 900 years, you must be a descendant of William [the Conqueror] and Matilda [his wife]."  "Mathematically, it is virtually certain that we are all cousins and probably much more closely than we think, except perhaps to Aborigines of Australia, Eskimos, and other such isolated peoples."[43]  A particularly detailed and well-researched study by Mark Humphrys, a computer scientist from Dublin City University, and Joseph Chang, a statistician at Yale University, concluded that, mathematically speaking, everyone on earth is a direct line descendant of every person who lived about a thousand years ago that had surviving offspring.

          Another factor in this equation is that the descendants of royalty and nobility fared much better than the offspring of the common man, who was more likely to suffer greater hardship.  For example, it is estimated that at least 20% of the people who lived a thousand years ago have no living descendants on earth today.  This is because those people were childless or the descendants died off.  Simply put, ". . . everyone in the world is descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, and everyone of European ancestry is descended from Muhammad and Charlemagne."[44]

          The further a person gets genealogically from a royal House, barring the senior line of a hereditary sovereignty, the less likely that person is considered royal and would rightfully hold royal status.  In England, great-grandchildren lose the royal title and designation.  This is completely reasonable.  It is obviously an absurd idea to think that practically everyone on earth should be addressed as "His or Her Royal Highness", yet it is undoubtedly true that the great majority of people have royal ancestors.  One of the most common features most European, and probably other cultures share, is royal ancestry of one kind or another.  However, only one person in each hereditary dynasty is sovereign.  Those who are designated as royals are royalty by law via House, Royal Convention or Constitutional Rules.  All others are commoners or nobles whether they are close relatives or not, to the one who holds the crown of majesty and sovereignty in an authentic monarchical house.

          It is equally true that no one can be a bona fide royal without a close familial relationship to a regnant or non-reigning sovereign.  But even if one is a son or daughter of such a person, if the deposed family has failed to maintain its sovereignty, then there is no royalty or sovereignty left, nor can it be restored.  Heralds must be able to discern and understand the rules of nobility and royalty and the impact of history to appropriately identify authentic noble and royal lines.  Vague and unsubstantiated family legends cannot be considered as factual.  There must be documented evidence to support a claim.  For example, there are many unscrupulous and greedy men who sell unproven or even fabricated genealogical “research” to the unwary.  This is problematic.

          In the last few decades, some heralds have faced some new challenges.  An example of a more prominent challenge was the infamous MacCarthy Mor hoax.  This was a deceptive sham that temporarily fooled even the Chief Herald of Ireland and hundreds of people throughout the world.  True heralds now require verifiable proof of legitimacy, especially if a title of nobility or royalty is claimed.  A claim that cannot be substantiated is simply considered unacceptable for recognition.  The MacCarthy Mor situation demonstrates the importance of this.

          The MacCarthy Mor debacle is the tale of Terrance MacCarthy.  He claimed to be the MacCarthy Mor, Prince of Desmond, with the Headship of the Eóghanacht Royal House of Munster and the Lord of Kerslawny.  While an abundance of many fraudsters can be found on the internet, Mr. MacCarthy was particularly convincing, and he deceived many.  He:

          . . . will [probably] be recorded as one of the great impostors of our day.  His name will be included with such historical impostors as Olive Wilmot, daughter of a house painter, who claimed to be Prince Olive, daughter of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland; Stefan Mali, the Montenegrin, who claimed to be Tsar Peter III of Russia; Anna Anderson, who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II; and a Devon servant girl, Mary Baker, who was able to pass herself off as Princess Caraboo of Javasu among the rich and famous in Victorian London. Terence McCarthy’s story is, perhaps, as fascinating as any of the historical figures who he claimed were his ancestors.[45]

          As a result of the MacCarthy Mor scandle, the Irish Genealogical Office nullified its "courtesy recognition" of his claim in August of 1999 and the Government withdrew its permission for the Chief Herald to give courtesy recognitions for non-territorial sovereign titles or deposed royal houses.

          Beyond the obvious fabricated genealogy in this case, the MacCarthy Mor claim never produced any proof that his supposed ancestors actually used their exalted titles or made the required protests to maintain their claims.  Therefore, had the international law of prescription been the criterion for evaluation, Mr. MacCarthy’s claim would have been evaluated as baseless, even if his fabricated genealogy was not questioned.

          Furthermore, in this particular situation, there was another enormous obstacle.  Ancient Irish ". . . kings had no hereditary claims to their miniature kingdoms.  They were elective.  The son of a king might be elected, during his life-time, but he had no hereditary right to the throne. . . ."[46]  Since there was no tradition of hereditary sovereignty, once an Irish kingdom fell, there are no possible claimants to the regal rights.

          A similar mistake was made by those who supported the false claim of Mr. Michel Lafosse.  He fancied himself to be “Prince Michael of Albany” and a Scottish royal claimant.  While he successfully impersonated royalty for many years, starting in 1979, he was eventually exposed.  Again, his royal claim, like that of the bogus MacCarthy Mor, could have easily been invalidated had persons used prescription to evaluate his claim.  Even if the fake ancestors of Mr. Lafosse were valid, they did not maintain de jure non-territorial sovereignty through continual, public protests.  Thus, their descendants were no more royal than anyone else in Scotland.  As this work has demonstrated over and over, the loss of royal privileges is conclusive after 100 years of neglect, non-use, and abandonment.  Vattel declared, "Prescription is the exclusion of all claim to a right from the fact that the right has been neglected during a certain length of time [100 years]. . . ."[47]

         As seen earlier, modern international courts can and have reduced the years required for prescription to be finalized, but ". . . immemorial prescription [normally] . . . require[s] three generations, which means about 100 years."[48]  "Acquisitive prescription is determined by the facts of each case, but it has been established with as little as 50 years of peaceable possession."[49]  But it can be accomplished in an even shorter period.  Samuel Pufendorf wrote:

         If the Will [the intention is officially] express’d by Words, [and is properly witnessed and evidenced] then there’s no need of waiting for the Term of Prescription [50 to 100 years], since the Right is immediately transferred on the other Party.[50] (emphasis added)

          The above act becomes an act of cession, which is outside the realms of prescription.  However, we can learn two important principles from this: 1. Extinctive prescription does not necessitate or require court hearings, because "the Right is immediately transferred" to the usurper or possessor.  2. A transfer of sovereignty does not necessarily have to take a hundred years for it to be final and complete.  Nevertheless, "a century [100 years] is sufficient to establish title in virtually any case."[51]

          Prescription . . . takes place against all rights [including all sovereign rights]. . . .  The right a king has to the obedience of his subjects [in other words, the supreme or ultimate right to rule within a kingdom, which is the right of internal sovereignty] will prescribe for the same reason as the right to the sole use of land or other estates [are lost by the rules of domestic prescription]. . . .  Immemorial prescription cuts off all [royal and sovereign] claims.[52]

          With the extinction of the Royal House of Stuart in the male line upon the death of the Cardinal and Duke of York (the de jure King Henry IX of England, Scotland, and Ireland) in 1808, and the fact that he had in effect sold his royal titles, rights and privileges to the King George III for a pension, all the royal sovereignty of the House of Stuart reverted to the de facto rulers of the United Kingdom.  This permanent loss of all regal rights was confirmed and verified due to the failure of the Savoy and, later, the Wittelsbach heirs of the Stuarts (through Henrietta daughter of Charles I) to prosecute or in any way assert the Stuarts' claims.  Thus there was a total forfeiture, which did not have to take place, because, ". . . sovereignty cannot be prescribed [legitimately forfeited and given to the usurper] so long as the legitimate sovereign remains in being," that is, remains visible using his titles and/or making the proper protest, etc.[53]  

          Therefore, in regard to the legitimacy or the falsity of claims, prescription is ideal, because history will conclusively show the real truth.  Heralds, from valid Colleges of Arms, are required to have proof of validity to ensure accuracy so as not be fooled or humiliated by costly mistakes.  Some are wisely prohibited from recognizing Chief of House claims or foreign titles to avoid scandals.

          Heraldry, unfortunately, is a much abused system of art and identity by well-meaning and well-intentioned people who do not know the important heraldic rules and regulations.  Much of what is sold as coats-of-arms for many surnames are illegitimate forms.  The reason is a coat-of-arms is registered only to one person in most countries.  To bear such a person’s arms means you are a direct descendant of that person.  Hence, the probability of buying a valid and authentic coat of arms for your true ancestors from an internet dealer or by mail-order is extremely unlikely.  There are simply too many different lines that have the same exact surname.  In other words, as a result, many people are displaying someone else's arms or someone else’s family identity without knowing it.

          In one unfortunate incident, one of the editors of this book knows a family that purchased their "arms" from such a bucket shop vendor, had their “arms” tattooed on the father and two sons, and only later learned that they had no rights to the arms they had inked onto their bodies.

          To properly have the right to use an ancestor's coat of arms, you must provide verifiable genealogical proof to an appropriate heraldic authority that you are an actual direct descendant of the original armiger (the historical person granted the arms from a heraldic authority or else prescriptively obtained through continuous use over generations).  As mentioned earlier, it is important to understand that if you buy from a bucket shop, the arms you receive are very unlikely to be arms that you are actually entitled to bear.  Displaying arms as your own that really belong to someone else is a form of theft.  Although there is not necessarily an explicit law against this type of theft, it is still offensive.  Heraldry is a symbolic mark of honor, so it is especially distasteful to pinch arms that belong to someone else.

          A much better way to obtain true heraldry is to research your own genealogy and see if you have armigerous ancestors.  Then, after proper consultation with an official heraldic body, you could display your own arms after accounting for any proper changes that need to be made.  Alternatively, you could obtain your own personal newly-designed grant of arms through a recognized heraldic organization.

          For an authentic coat of arms, it would be best to apply to a true sovereign college of arms or a well-respected private organization that has a high heraldic standard.  Caution is a virtue here, since there are a number of questionable organizations that are more focused on profit than genuine heraldic research.  In general, unless a private organization is highly respected and has a long history, it is recommended that you only work with official heraldic bodies.

 Non-Sovereign Titles of Nobility can also be Lost

          "A nobleman['s title and position is not] . . . grounded on the state of Nature."[54]  That is, nobility is not a natural right that is indestructible.  Rather, it is a created entitlement, and anything that is created or legally man-made can be undone or overthrown.  Thus:

          [under a monarchy]. . . no one who . . . loses his title and rank would be justified in saying that what was his own had been taken from him; because he could only call it his own under the condition of the continued duration of the previous form of the State [whether that sovereignty entity be reigning or deposed]. . . .[55]

          "[Being noble and titled does] . . . not therefore establish any right of perpetual possession."[56]  "The Nobility, in fact, constitute a temporary corporation or guild, authorized [and ultimately owned] by the [king or sovereign prince]. . . ."[57]  Like sovereignty, titles of nobility and noble status can be lost or forfeited in a number of ways.  The following are some of the more prominent ways that nobility ends:

   Revocation after being condemned for a crime.
   Not using the title for generations [constitutes a loss through prescription].
   Renouncing nobility.
   Marriage of a member of the high nobility to a person of lower rank or a commoner, if this is the custom of the kingdom.
   Morganatic marriage, if this is the custom of the kingdom.
   Adoption of a nobleman by a commoner, if this is the custom of the kingdom.
   Illegitimate descent, if this is the custom of the kingdom.[58]  

          Old European literature and story themes describe every one of the above means of losing nobility rights.  This merely reflects the well-known reality about historical ways to lose noble status.[59]

          Similar to sovereignty, nobility is equally dependent on ancient prescription and abandonment laws.  These laws are as old as the concept of ownership, because the principles of ownership, property, and prescription have been intertwined since time immemorial.

          The 11 points elaborated below show how natural prescriptive law applies to the ownership of nobility and any associated titles:

          (1)  Domestically, non-sovereign noble titles and nobility have no legal standing or protection in over 90% of all nations.  This is because most nations are republics, and nobility is inseparably connected to monarchies or rightful deposed sovereignty.  Therefore, modern domestic or national law generally does not apply to nobility.  Republics rarely have laws to protect the private ownership of ancient noble titles and/or noble status.  Some have laws against them.  In contrast, in current monarchies, where there is a sovereign, the domestic law of the kingdom or principality can and will affect the nobility legally and lawfully.  The point: since most modern nations are republics, most title holders and nobles have no legal standing in the nations in which they dwell.         
          (2)  However, both sovereign royal titles and non-sovereign noble titles can have legal and lawful standing and lawful recognition in international law.  But this is true only if the sovereign entity that originally created the title is still intact.  If the original sovereign polity ceases to exist, on either a reigning or legitimate non-reigning level, all noble rights and distinctions created by that sovereign entity would lose their domestic public legal standing, if they had any, and their public international rights along with it.  Only a living sovereign fons honorum, whether reigning or deposed, can provide and maintain an international right to publically use noble honors and titles.
          (3)  Positive law (current written law), as stated, on a domestic level generally do not endorse, uphold or support nobility.  However, there are laws that are binding internationally.  Natural or equity law is ageless and universally applicable in every nation and among all people.  In fact, no man-made law outranks natural law. Sir William Blackstone observed, as quoted before:

                    This law of nature being co-eval [or in the beginning] with mankind . . . is of course superior [or more important] in obligation to any other [law on earth].  It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.[60]

          This is the universal law of equity and justice, and it is binding and obligatory on all whether it is obeyed or not.  Prescription is an integral part of the natural law of justice and has full dominion especially in areas that have no standing laws in regard to the nobility or former royal foreign houses.
           (4)  "Prescription, in both domestic and international law, [is involved chiefly] . . . in creating, and destroying rights."[61]  This has a profound impact the ethical right to publically use royal and noble honors, the law of prescription preserves ownership rights by obedience to the equitable rules on perpetuating proprietary entitlements.  The natural law of abandonment is a principal, or major component, part of prescription.  In and of itself, abandonment can and does terminate or destroy ownership rights.  Abandoned or discarded property no longer belongs to those who throw it away.  Fail to use it for a significantly period of time results in their elimination.  In other words, as with royalty, noble rights, which are abandoned, left vacant or unused for an extended period of time, are forfeited or lost.  Such that, the principle of "use it or lose it" becomes the ruling principle of whether a title and/or noble status will continue or will terminate.  This is part of the higher natural law that is binding in such cases, especially where the laws of man have no authority or any written rules pertaining to the old nobility.  As natural prescriptive law trumps even sovereignty in certain cases, it also holds supremacy over the various nobiliary laws that exist.
          (5)  Abandonment, which is a central concept, is the surrender, renunciation, or relinquishment of property rights.  In international law, 100 years of negligence or disuse creates a juris et de jure legal status in natural and international law.  This principle is the highest and most conclusive legal presumption known to man, and abandonment and/or neglect is one of the natural principles that creates it.  It means that a loss can no longer be rebutted or debated by contrary evidence.  The forfeiture is permanent.  At this point, the family, which once owned the title, cannot revive what they no longer own.  It may be rescued and revived before the 100-year period provided that "ordinary prescription" or some other lawful means of forfeiture has not already eliminated the possibility.
          (6)  In a patrimonial kingdom or principality (which represents most of the sovereign entities of the past), all the honors and rights of the non-sovereign nobility ultimately belonged to the crown.  All honors, dignities and distinctions flow out from and are subject to the king or sovereign prince.  What the monarch gives to a person or to a family can equally be taken away or confiscated, which is why an abandoned, neglected or unused nobility honors automatically reverts back to the crown, because the crown, within its exclusive jurisdiction, holds supremacy over all matters pertaining to the nobility and their rights and privileges.
          (7)  If that patrimonial sovereign entity, kingdom or principality, which ultimately owned all the rights and privileges of the nobility, is lost and no longer exists, either on a reigning or legitimately deposed basis, all the titles of the nobles cease to have any public international and/or domestic existence.  In other words, public honors depend on a public or living sovereign fons honorum to be valid just as orders of chivalry also require sovereign authority to be genuine.  After the disappearance of sovereignty, any leftover noble or chivalric title can only exist as a private right.  That is, if the order or noble family has no living valid fons honorum, then its honors are private distinctions only, which puts them into a class equal to a private title from a club, which has no public right attached to it.  Private titles should not be used publicly.  For example, if a man uses using a non-public title, such as, a "prince" or "count," which honor has no legal standing on an international or domestic basis, he is presenting himself to be something he is not.  In other words, the use of such a title would have no legal validity.  It would be misleading and therefore unethical to use it.
          (8)  Once a noble title is lost, only the sovereign entity that created the title or noble status in the first place would have the legal power and authority to restore it.  If this sovereign entity no longer exists, then no one can restore the noble title as the authority to do so is gone.  A new creation could take place under a different sovereign entity that presently governs that particular territory.  Within its jurisdiction, it could re-use the same title and territorial designation as the original, because the old title was terminated or lost.
          (9)  Just as the recognition or acknowledgement of outsiders cannot restore de jure sovereignty that has been forfeited or lost, the recognition or acknowledgement of others cannot re-create lost nobility, which has been legally abandoned to the point of forfeiture, or is no longer a public title, because the dispossessed royal house became extinct in terms of the rights of sovereignty in international law.  In other words, recognition does not change legal realities one way or the other.  Foreign powers and modern courts simply do not have the legal right or lawful power to confer what no longer exists, nor can they operate legally outside of their legal jurisdiction.
          (10)  Heraldic organizations, obviously, do not have the delegated sovereign right to re-confer lost titles or nobility, nor do churches, clubs or fraternities.  Even a true royal sovereign entity, having no jurisdiction over the ancient kingdom or principality in question, cannot do this.  
          (11)  Public nobility and knighthood flows out of the sovereign entitlement – the supreme right to rule of either a reigning or deposed nation, kingdom or principality.  Private nobility is obviously not anywhere close to being on the same level or magnitude as genuine official public nobility, which shares, to a lesser degree in the lofty distinction and glory of sovereign royalty.  True public nobility is the direct result of sovereignty.  All the rights of public nobility and authentic orders of chivalry depend on a foundation of a valid living sovereign entity.  If sovereignty is lost, all public international rights are lost with it.  Therefore, this is one of the grand master keys that unlocks the door to identifying what is real from what is not.  In summary, public authenticity revolves around the possession of sovereignty.

          It is important to understand that all public international rights, offices, authorities, titles, and even the nobility itself become equally extinct on a public level with the demise of the sovereign power that created them and owns them.  This is also true for orders of chivalry that no longer have a living fons honorum.  (See "Orders of Chivalry and Sovereignty" in this chapter)

          This is because the status of the nobility is inseparably connected to the legal situation of the sovereign – he or she, who truly owns or has supremacy over all the present and former honors of the kingdom or principality.  Therefore, all titles and noble status associated with a terminated non-territorial sovereignty, including former orders of chivalry, become nothing more than a recollection of a past glory, an honor or a distinction that once existed, but is no longer.

          Titles of nobility should not be publicly used if they are outlawed in the current nation.  Nevertheless, these titles, even if they are unable to be displayed within the nation, remain fully legitimate and can be used officially and publicly outside of the country as they are valid on an international level.

          Public use of private titles, or knightly honors that are not maintained by a living sovereign entity differs little from the wrongful practice of those who impersonate royalty and/or use fraudulent or fictitious titles.  It is also analogous to getting a Ph.D. from a diploma mill, which is a counterfeit institution and a misleading and dishonest title.  A true academic academic title would obviously be from an authentic college or university just as a true royal or noble title would be from an authentic sovereign, not a phony prince, club or order.

          The point is, all private or false titles of nobility or chivalry are private.  They should only be used privately as they have no validity or worth on a public basis.  That is, family members holding private titles, such as, those described above, or from a club, diploma mill, fraternity or church, could call each other prince or count, but should not imply that they are real princes or counts or use such titles outside of their family, social club or organization.

          The foundation for anything real and genuine in terms of title or honor revolves around the existence of valid sovereignty.  The above information provides some valuable criteria that can be used to help determine what is legitimate as contrasted from what is invalid or false.

 The Use of Domestic Non-Sovereign Cultural Titles and Honors

          A large number of former principalities and kingdoms in Indonesia and some in Africa, who have lost their legal, non-territorial rights as sovereign houses, were in that last decade given non-sovereign, traditional, or cultural recognition by their respective governments – supposedly with no political authority.

          For example, the Indonesian National Parliament passed Law No. 39 and 7(a) in December of 2007.  It recognized all the traditional royal dynasties – close to 300 of them.  This Law strengthens the presence of the former Royal dynasties in the life of the Nation and ensures for them the formal support of the Government.  It allows the reconstruction and maintenance of the ancient palaces, the restitution of confiscated properties to the kings and the financial support to the traditional ceremonies and festivals of the traditional monarchs.  However, every time a monarch is succeeded by his heir, the new Head of the Dynasty has to be recognized by the Government.  Local governments were ordered to protect and support this initiative.

          These sultans, princes and rajas only have cultural authority and title.  They are, in fact, non-royals and are legally commoners (provided their progenitors forfeited or lost de jure sovereignty), in spite of their regal titles.  This is because a house cannot be royal without sovereignty. (See the "Introduction" to chapter one in this volume)  Nevertheless, they have influence, respect and purpose as cultural leaders, but are not on the same level as a true and authentic sovereign royal house that has preserved their supreme right through international prescriptive law.

          However, if they truly have official national cultural rights and recognition within a nation, they cannot be considered counterfeiters or impersonators.  Nevertheless, their legal status is limited and confined to the boundaries of the nation that supports their cultural awards.  If they claim the same status and rank as a legitimate sovereign house, when their ancestors lost this right, they will be perpetuating a falsehood or misrepresenting the truth.

          An individual given an honor from a recognized cultural monarchy should not use that title or knighthood designation outside of that country -- just like a title from a social club should not be used outside of the confines of that organization.  To do so, would be to unlawfully imply that their distinction is an international public one, instead of a domestic honor or a private title.  It would be an act of dishonesty to misrepresent an honor, or claim to be something it is not.
          A permanent hereditary title or honor from a legitimate de jure monarch is a genuine public international accolade – one of the highest distinctions a man can receive.  A title or honor from a government recognized non-sovereign cultural house would be genuine and authentic only within the boundaries of that particular nation.  It would not have the same public right and legal status of a genuine sovereign entity in international law like a knighthood from a true sovereign imperial or royal house.  A public title from an authentic non-territorial or reigning sovereign is a profound privilege and treasure far beyond an honor a limited cultural monarch can give.

          The following is an abreviated declaration concerning public and private titles:           

(1) First, there are public noble and chivalric titles that hold international public rights.  They are given by a legitimate sovereign entity, whether reigning or deposed.  This type of public honor is of the highest magnitude and is valid worldwide as much as one's given name -- it is an identity right.  This worldwide right is based on international sovereignty law.  One can morally and ethically use such a designation as part of one’s identity anywhere on earth as long as it does not violate the law of the country in which one is residing or would be socially uncomfortable or counterproductive to use,

(2) Second, there are also domestic, rather than international public titles that are legally authorized and approved by an official national government entity of some country, but not granted by its sovereign authority.  Such honors are legitimate public distinctions, but should only be used within the granting state, county, city or village of origin.  It should not be used outside of that jurisdiction -- only a sovereign grant is universal,

(3) Third, there are, in addition, private titles from a cultural, social, religious or other organization, which are of little value or worth, and should not be used beyond the limited and narrow confines of the club, church (non-Catholic -- as the Pope has the sovereign secular right to rule over one of the tiniest countries on earth) or other non-sovereign organization involved.  An example would be a noble or knightly imitation title from a fraternity, a Masonic order or a Moose Lodge.  They are not to be used publicly, and, of course,

(4) Fourth, there are fake titles that should never be used, because they are counterfeit of what is real, true and genuine and it would be deceitful to use one on a public basis.  Yet this kind of thing is rampant.

          "A public credential [like an academic degree or authentic title of nobility] is distinguished from other kinds of awards and recognitions in that [can be] used outside private life. . . ."[62]

           This is because they are public rights. To bear a public distinction one must be given it under sovereign authority. That is, only a sovereign entity -- a public international person or sovereign government entity has the right to bestow public honors. If a non-reigning sovereign forfeits his right to rule, for violating the laws that maintain and preserve legal, non-territorial sovereignty, then any order of chivalry or any conferred title automatically loses its public status and becomes a private dignity, which should not to be used in public. In other words, the public right lives or dies on the principle of having a living breathing sovereign entity or legitimate fons honorum that is backed by the law of all nations. Anything less is private or, at least, not a universal or international status right. In summary, sovereignty is the grand master key -- the heart and soul of public authority for a deposed royal house. (See "International Personality Rights of Non-Territorial Sovereigns" in chapter 4 and "Private Law Rights, Ownership and Chivalry" in this chapter)

[1]  International Commission for Orders of Chivalry, Register of Orders of Chivalry-- Report of the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry, 1996, p. 5.

[2]  Quoting Noel Cox in Hans J. Hoegen Dijkhof, The Legitimacy of Orders of St. John, 2006, p. 294.

[3]  Robert Jackson, Sovereignty: Evolution of an Idea, 2007, p. 62.

[4] Ibid., p. 65.

[5]  M. O. Dickerson, Thomas Flanagan and Brenda O'Neill, An Introduction to Government and Politics: A Conceptual Approach, 8th ed., 2009, p. 30.

[6]  Emerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book 1, chapter 12, no. 141.

[7]  Noel Cox, "The Sovereign Authority for the Creation of Orders of Chivalry," 2011: http://www.geocities.com/noelcox/Creation.htm.

[8]  Ibid.

[9]  Kurt Burch, Constituting International Political Economy, Kurt Burch and Robert Allen Denemark, eds., 1997, p. 28.

[10  George Lachmann Mosse, The Struggle for Sovereignty in England: from the Reign of Queen Elizabeth to the Petition of Right, 1968, p. 55.

[11]  Sanchez Ramirez de Arellano, The Jus Honorum and the Beach, Guy Stair Sainty, ed., 2011: http://www.chivalricorders.org/royalty/fantasy/vigo.htm.

[12]  Ibid.

[13]  Hugh Clarke, A Concise History of Knighthood, containing the Military and Religious Orders, which have been Instituted in Europe, vol. 1, 1784, p. 78.

[14]  James Aikman, "A Historical Sketch of Chivalry," An Account of the Tournament at Eglinton, by James Gordon, 1839, p. x.

[15]  "Order of Saint John:" The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, 2011: www.orderofstjohn.org/the-order.

[16]  Noel Cox, The principles of international law governing the sovereign authority for the creation and administration of Orders of Chivalry, 2014: https://www.academia.edu/1471699/The_principles_of_international_law_governing_the_Sovereign_authority_for_the_creation_and_administration_of_Orders_of_Chivalry.

[17]  Hugo Grotius, On the Law of War and Peace, Book 2, chapter 22, no. 14.

[18]  Guy Stair Sainty, The Order of Saint Lazarus, 2011: http://stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/ridders/lazarus_sainty.html;  Note: Religious leaders do not rule over countries or nations (with the exception of the pope over the Vatican).  Their domain is religious and has nothing whatsoever to do with secular or political dominion.  This is self-evident and obvious especially when it is considered that, "Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise, within a specific territory, the functions of a Nation-state and be answerable to no higher authority." (Quizlet, Geopolitical Conflicts; 2016: https://quizlet.com/43768180/geopolitical-conflicts-flash-cards/alphabetical)

[19]  Thomas Hobbes, "Reading from the Leviathan," Readings in Political Philosophy, Francis William Coker, ed., 1914, p. 326.

[20]  International Commission on Orders of Chivalry, Registry of Orders of Chivalry, 2011: http://www.icocregister.org/2007ICOCRegister.pdf.

[21]  H. G. Cardinale, Orders of Knighthood Awards and the Holy See, 1983, p. 119.

[22]  Charles Cheney Hyde, International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied by the United States, vol. 1, 1922, p. 116.

[23]  Augustan Society, The Augustan Society Information Bulletin, vol. 8, The Augustan 17-20, August-November, 1965, p. 68.

[24]  Granting of Orders and Titles by H.M. King Kigeli V of Rwanda; 2011: http://nobilitynews.blogspot.com/2007/08/granting-of-orders-and-titles-by-hm.html.

[25]  Merriam-Webster Dictionary, patron; 2015: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patron.

[26]  Horatio Alger, Jr., Chivalry; 2011: http://www.washburn.edu/sobu/broach/chivalry.html.

[27]  John Fines, Who's Who in the Middle Ages, 1970, p. 163.

[28]  Kenelm Henry Digby, The Broad-Stone of Honour or, The True Sense and Practice of Chivalry, 1822, p. 86.

[29]  David Wootton, Modern Political Thought: Readings from Machiavelli to Nietzsche, 1996, p. 723.

[30]  H. G. Cardinale, Orders of Knighthood Awards and the Holy See, 1983, pp. 175-176.

[31]  A. C. Fox-Davis, "Heraldry," Charles G. Herbermann, Edward A. Pace, Conde B. Pallen, Thomas J. Shahan, John J. Wynne, eds., The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 7, 1910, p. 245.

[32]  Rodney Dennys, "Sovereignty and Heraldry: The Case of the Falklands," History Today, vol. 32, issue 9, September 1982.

[33]  Maurice Keen, Heralds in the Age of Chivalry; 2011: http://www.historytoday.com/taxonomy/term/43.

[34]  R. Willis, comp., The Science of Heraldry, 1872, p. 7.

[35]  Ibid., pp. 7, 10.

[36]  M. Eobald Toze, The Present State of Europe: Exhibiting a View of the Natural and Civil History of the Several Countries and Kingdoms, vol. 1, Thomas Nugent, tran., 1770, pp. 36-37.

[37]  Susan Doran, Elizabeth I and Foreign Policy, 1558-1603, 2000, p. 16.

[38]  Michael Walzer, "On the Role of Symbolism in Political Thought," Political Science Quarterly, vol. 82, 1967, p. 194.

[39]  William Armstrong Crozier , "The Use and Abuse of Armorial Bearings," The Delineator, March 1905, pp. 426-426.

[40]  R. Geoffrey Ellis, "Heralds; Heraldry; Heralds’ College," Encyclopædia of the Laws of England, 2nd ed., vol. 6, A. Wood Renton and Max A. Robertson, eds., 1907, p. 532.

[41]  Ibid.

[42]  Ian Mortimer, The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, 2007, pp. 433-440, 503 and "Physics News Update," No. 428, American Institute of Physics, 1999.

[43]  Arden H. Brame, Jr. II, "Are You and I Really Causins? . . . or . . . How Many Ancestors Did We Have is A.D. 1 and in 1700 B.C.?," The Augustan Society Omnibus Book 7 in The Colonial Genealogist, vol. 12, no. 4, issue 46, 1986.

[44]  Steve Olson, "The Royal We," The Atlantic Monthly, May 2002; vol. 289, no. 5; May 2002, p. 62.

[45]  Peter Beresford Ellis, Erin's Blood Royal: The Gaelic Noble Dynasties of Ireland, revised ed., 2002, new forward: "The Man who would be Prince.").

[46]  Edward Farr, The National History of England, vol. 1, 1873, p. 194.

[47]  Emerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book 2, chapter 11, no. 140.

[48]  Gabriel Baudry-Lacantinerie, Albert Tissier, Charles Aubry, Jean Cabonnier, Louisianna State Law Institute, Prescription: Traité Théorique et Pratique de Droit Civil, vol. 28, nos. 1-815, 4th ed., 1924, p. 12;  Note: "[Immemorial prescription] can be defined as a prescription the beginning of which no living person witnessed; which has already come from his ancestors and of which he has no contrary information from any witness, either by his direct observation or through hearsay from those who were witnesses.  These conditions require three generations, which means about 100 years.  This led several writers to say that the immemorial prescription must have lasted at least 100 years.  This period is also the longest normal span of human life and it is impossible to fix a more convenient term of years." (Gabriel Baudry-Lacantinerie, Albert Tissier, Charles Aubrey, Prescription, Traité théorique et pratique de droit civil, vol. 28, 1972, p. 12) (emphasis added).

[49]  "The Republic of Texas is No More: An Answer to the Claim that Texas was Unconstitutionally Annexed to the United Stares, " Texas Tech Law Review, vol. 28, no. 697, 1997, p. 743.

[50]  Samuel Pufendorf, Of the Law of Nature and Nations, Book 4, chapter 12, no. 8, 1710.

[51]  Op.cit., "The Republic of Texas. . . .

[52]  Adam Smith, "Lectures on Jurisprudence," The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (1981-1987), vol. 5, , Robert L. Meek, David D. Raphael and Peter G. Stein, eds., 2004, p. 72;  Note: "The doctrine of prescription incorporated in every municipal code in order to quiet the title of individuals is applied, subject to certain modification, to the possessions of states in order to secure stability in international affairs and that freedom from strife which would be perpetual, if every nation could rise in arms to assert obsolete legal rights.  From the very necessity of the case the quieting influence of prescription has been extended not only to cases of long-continued possession where no original source of property right can be shown to have existed, but also to cases in which the rightful proprietor, wrongfully dispossessed, has been unable or unwilling to re-establish his possession.  In the notable case of the dismemberment of Poland titles to the appropriated territory, based upon acts generally admitted to have been immoral, have through the lapse of time and general acquiescence become permanent simply because it is as necessary to end disputes between nations as to territory as it is to cut off litigation between individuals." (Hannis Taylor, A Treatise on International Public Law, 1901 p. 265).

[53]  Julian H. Franklin, Bodin on Sovereignty, 2004, p. 112;  Note: "The heir of the Royal Sardine today is Duke Franz [Francis II] of Bavaria, who is considered by some to be the legal Jacobite heir; however, he cannot make that claim according to international law . . . [because the claim] has no basis . . . due to the neglect of his ancestors to assert their claim nor protest the latter Hanoverian’s title." (David Hughes, The British Chronicles, 2007, p. 358).  This is an example of the complete loss of dynastic rights via prescriptive forfeiture.

[54]  Immanuel Kant, The Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right, William Hastie, ed., no. 8(c), 1887.

[55]  Ibid.

[56]  Ibid.

[57]  Ibid.

[58]  Friedrich R. Wollmershäuser, 2000, ProGenealogists, German Noble Descent in American Family Tradition, 2013: http://www.progenealogists.com/germany/articles/gnobility.htm.

[59]  Ibid.

[60]  Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, in Four Books, vol. 1, Edward Christian, ed., 14th edition, 1803, p. 40.

[61]  The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 27, 15th ed., 1974, p. 195.

[62]  Alan L. Contreras, The legal basis for degree-granting authority in the United States; 2018: http://collab.sheeo.org/sites/default/files/publications/Contreras2009-10-LegalDegreeGranting.pdf.

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