London, November 2014. The Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland, HE Anthony Bailey, OBE, hosted the 2014 Autumn Delegation Dinner at the historic Armourers’ Hall in London. The Guests of Honour were the new Grand Chancellor of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, HRH Princess Beatrice of Bourbon Two Sicilies, and Her Majesty’s Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda, HE Sir Rodney Williams, GCMG, KGN, and HE Lady Williams. HSH Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg, Mrs Bailey was also present.
As 2014 marks the centenary of outbreak of World War One, delegation member and former Lord Mayor of London Sir Gavyn Arthur delivered a moving and detailed lecture entitled “1914 – The Sarajevo Tragedy”, which focused on the assassination of the Heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire Archduke Franz-Ferdinand and his wife Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg. The Habsburg and Hohenberg families are longstanding members of the Constantinian Order and the late Archduke’s mother was born a Princess of Bourbon Two Sicilies.
Following the lecture, almost one hundred guests took their places in the historic and candlelit Dining Hall. An opening prayer of the Order was delivered by the Prior of the British and Irish Delegation, His Eminence Cormac, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster. The roll of deceased knights and dames of the delegation was also read by His Eminence.
The Delegate delivered a welcome address which included an overview of the charitable and international activities of the Delegation and wider Order. This included reports on the recent official visits made by the Grand Master and Cardinal Grand Prior to the Caribbean region in October and November, the signing of the Act of Reconciliation in Naples by the two branches of the Two Sicilies dynasty, the Beatification of Queen Maria-Cristina of the Two Sicilies in Naples, the institutional appointments made within the Grand Magistry in Rome, the Rome Summit of the Order attended by delegates and vice delegates from across the world in September, the Official Visit paid by the Cardinal Grand Prior to Kosovo and by the Grand Master and Cardinal Grand Prior to Albania. Special thanks were also extended to Vice Delegate Professor Richard Conroy for the excellent Annual Irish Mass and Dinner held in Dublin in October.
The Delegate especially welcomed Princess Beatrice as the first female to hold this important office within the worldwide Order. Anthony also welcomed His Imperial Highness Prince Napoleon from France, the newly appointed Deputy President of the Royal Deputation of the Constantinian Order.
The Loyal Toast to The Queen was proposed by The Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland, HE Anthony Bailey. The Loyal Toast to The Queen in right of Antigua and Barbuda was proposed by HE Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda. The Toast to The President of Ireland was proposed by Vice-Delegate for Ireland, Professor Richard Conroy. HE Ambassador Don Sforza Marescotto Ruspoli proposed the Toast to the Supreme Pontiff and HIH Prince Napoleon proposed the Toast to the Sovereigns and other Heads of State represented at the dinner.
The Vote of Thanks was proposed by HE Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda. During his speech, the Governor General spoke warmly of the positive and prominent role that the Constantinian Order now has in Antigua & Barbuda and the wider Caribbean region and also of the significant contribution made to charitable projects in the areas of education, national patrimony, social welfare and community outreach which now reaches several million of euros. The Governor General remarked on the recent Official Visit paid by the Grand Master to Antigua & Barbuda and paid tribute to the Delegate Anthony Bailey for championing the cause of the Caribbean among the Order’s members.
The Grand Chancellor of the Order HRH Princess Beatrice also addressed the audience and expressed her delight to be in London and thanked the delegation for its support.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor offered his thanks to the Delegation for all these efforts and offered congratulations to Anthony Bailey and Sir William Jeffcock on the occasion of the announcement of their Commonwealth Realm Knighthoods which had been conferred on them by the Crown a few weeks ago. Messages were also read out from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, Grand Prior.
Among Council members and Chaplains attending were Canon Christopher Tuckwell, Administrator of Westminster Cathedral, The Rev Msgr Vincent Brady, Private Secretary to HE The Apostolic Nuncio to the Court of St James’s, The Rev Fr Michael Seed, SA, The Rt Hon Baroness Scotland of Asthal, QC, The Lord Brennan of Bibury, The Hon Alexander Brennan, Prince Don Cristoforo Rocco di Torrepadula, Mr John Kennedy, CBE, Mr Norman Gooding, Mr Richard Model, Mr Rory More O’Ferrall and Mr Kevin Grant.
The Company of Pikemen & Musketeers were in attendance and offered the ceremonial guard throughout the evening.
The evening came to an end with a concluding prayer offered by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church who praised the longstanding dedication of the knights and dames of the Constantinian Order and the Royal Order of Francis I to furthering inter-religious understanding nationally and internationally and most especially those in the Middle East.
Among the other dignitaries who attended the dinner were HI & RH Archduchess Elmerice of Austria-Hungary & Mr Alexander Fairfax, HE Ambassador Don Sforza Marescotto Ruspoli, Constantinian Order Emeritus Delegate for Rome, Princess Sforza Marescotto Ruspoli, Princess Giacinta Ruspoli, Their Excellencies The High Commissioners of Dominica and Grenada, Their Excellencies The Ambassadors to the Court of St James’s of Bolivia, Kosovo, Mexico and Romania, HE Mr Mohammed Belmahi, former Ambassador of HM The King of Morocco to the Court of St James’s, HE Mr Guy Stair Sainty, representing HRH The Infante Don Carlos Duke of Calabria, The Rt Hon Lord Watson of Richmond, CBE, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, Lady Brennan of Bibury, Dame Mary Richardson, DBE, Sir William Jeffcock, The Hon Daniel Brennan, The Hon Michael Brennan, Mr Maurice Ostro, Vice Chair of the Council of for Christians & Jews, Councillor Clare Head, former Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Mr John Smail, JP, Master of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London, Commander Richard Ward, Company of Pikemen & Musketeers, Miss Maureen Jones, Mrs Farzaneh Hosseinzadeh, Miss Annie Austin, Assistant Superintendent Moncy Duncan, Aide-de-Camp to HE The Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda, Mr John Petrie, Rouge Croix Pursuivant-College of Arms, Professor John Patrick Loughlin, Dr Jean Gooding, MBE, Mr John Chapman, Mr & Mrs Steven Wilkinson, Mr & Mrs John Diamond, Mr Andrew Rogers, KSG, Mr & Mrs Joseph Byllam Barnes, Mrs Ann Willis, Mr John McIntosh, CBE, Mr Michael Harrington, Ms Vera Blei, Professor John Ryan, Mr Martin Tomaszewski, Mr Marco Mohwinckel, Mr Kevin Cahill, Ms Fiona O’Cleirigh, Mrs Peter Jennings, Mr Bertrand de Comminges, Dr Nicola Pedroni, Mr Kevin Hart, Mr Stephen Hart, Mrs Michele Price, Mr Alistair Telfer, Mr Manuel Cerrone Morrales, The Rev Sandra Howells, Mr John Howells, Mrs Elizabeth Thornborough, Mr D’Arcy Myers, Mr Anthony David McGorrigan, Mr David Trevor Newton, Dr Xhoana Papakostandini, Ms Dita Krauze and Mr Talat Gokdemir.
The photographs from the Autumn Delegation Dinner are now available through our Flickr photo library. The photo albums and can be accessed by clicking here. The order form can be accessed by clicking here.
To download the speech of the Delegate Anthony Bailey, click here
To read the Vote of Thanks of the Governor General, click here.