Rome, February 2006. HRH Crown Prince Nicholas II of Montenegro paid a formal visit to the Grand Prefect of the Constantinian Order, HRH The Duke of Calabria, at the Grand Magistry in Rome in February 2006.
The Grand Prefect bestowed on the Head of the Royal House of Montenegro, who is Orthodox, the insignia of the Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I as well as the Gold Benemerenti Medal of the Constantinian Order.
During the same ceremony, the Constantinian Order’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Castro and the Order’s Grand Prefect, HRH The Duke of Calabria received the insignia of Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Danilo I of Montenegro with the Gold and Silver Star respectively.
As part of the formal exchange between the two Royal Houses, the Grand Chancellor of the Constantinian Order, HE Marquis Aldo Pezzana Capranica del Grillo, and the Grand Chancellor of the Royal Order of Danilo I, HE Mr John Gvozdenovic Kennedy also received the Knight Grand Cross of the respective Orders.
During their speeches the two Princes recognised the historical and geographical ties between the Royal House of the Two Sicilies and the Royal House of Montenegro.
The Montenegro dynasty ruled from 1711 and in recent weeks Montenegro regained its full independence following a referendum to separate from Serbia.
The first Montenegrin state Order was established by HRH Prince Danilo Petrovic in 1853, as the Order of Danilo I for the independence of Montenegro in 1852-53. This Decoration is still awarded to prominent champions of the preservation of Montenegrin independence and the conditions by which the Order is awarded were defined by Statute.
Alterations were made to the appearance of the original decoration created by Prince Danilo and during the rule of HM King Nikola I Petrovic the Order underwent two restructures. During the first restructure in 1861, three classes were introduced, while in the second restructure, from 1873, an additional class was added, so that not only is there a star in the 1st class but also a 2nd class with star was introduced.
Many deserving men and women have been awarded the Order of Prince Danilo I over time including foreigners. The illustrious list includes many decorated servicemen during the World Wars and a host of other notables, including Queen Victoria and King Edward VII of Great Britain. Recent recipients include HE The President of the Republic of Montenegro, HMEH Fra’ Andrew Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta, HSH Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco, HRH The Duke of Braganza, HRH The Count of Paris and other senior members of reigning and non-reigning dynasties.
Among the guests present were: Prince Alessandrojacopo Boncompagni Ludovisi Altemps, Delegate for Lazio, Professor Leonardo Saviano, Attaché to The Duke of Calabria, Mr Nicola Parascandolo, Vice Secretary General of the Order and Constantinian Knight, Vincenzo Giovagnorio, Master of Ceremonies of the Order. Following the ceremony, HRH The Duke of Calabria hosted a lunch in honour of the Montenegrin delegation at a Rome based club.