Much like the Order of Saint Januarius and the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, the Royal Order of Francis I remains an ancient, dynastic and internationally recognised institution. The Order, which is neither a state decoration of the Italian Republic or the Holy See, has continued to be conferred long after the overthrow of King Francesco II, in 1861. Today the Order is bestowed by HRH The Duke of Castro, as Head of the Royal House of Bourbon of the Two Sicilies, and a great-great-great-great grandson of the Order’s founder.
Numerous states and dynasties across the world recognises the Order activities and the significant contribution its makes to charitable and humanitarian initiatives. In addition recognition has been extended by numerous state or dynas tic bodies in relation to the important work it undertakes in promoting inter-church and inter-faith dialogue across Europe and around the world.
Today, the knights and dames of the Royal Order of Francis I, together with the members of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order, support and actively participate in the Order’s national and international inter-church, inter-faith, humanitarian, hospitaller and charity initiatives and projects. The Royal Order of Francis I is bestowed upon worthy individuals regardless of nationality or creed who have contributed to public life, science, the arts, agriculture, and commerce. The Order also plays a significant role in recognising those that have made outstanding contributions to inter-faith and inter-church dialogue and understanding. All principal faiths and denominations are represented at both delegation and international level.
Among the Order’s prominent knights and dames are two emeritus Archbishops of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth and Lord Carey of Clifton, HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark (right), HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Governor of Makkah Region, (right below), former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher (top right), The Duke of Westminster, inter-faith campaigners Sir Sigmund and Lady Sternberg, Lord Denman, Mr Mahmoud Khayami, the former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Lord Alderdice, former Lord Mayor of London Sir Gavyn Arthur, Sir Michael Craig-Cooper, Sir David Durie, former HM Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar, HE Mr Mohammed Belmahi, former Ambassador of HM The King of Morocco, Dame Angela Rumbold, The Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury and Professor Nasser David Khalili.