12 November 2008

L'Ordre du Saint-Esprit

This most august order in France (though the Order of St. Michael is more ancient) was created by King Henry III, in honor of the fact that he was elected King of France and Poland on two separate Pentecosts. It is reserved for Catholic royalty. The French government under the Revolution abolished this and all Catholic chivalric orders; after it was revived under the Restoration of the House of Bourbon, it was again abolished by Orleanist Louis-Philippe after the July 1830 Revolution. The Legitimist pretenders, who support Louis-Alphonse as lawful king of France, continue to nominate members.

The Badge of the Order is a gold, ball-tipped Maltese Cross, enameled in white and green, with a gold fleur-de-lys between each arm. In the center is St. Michael crushing Lucifer. The badge hangs from a sky blue riband worn over the right shoulder.

Croix de l'Ordre du Saint-Esprit

See here for a discussion of illegitimate chivalric orders of France.