Boxford, 20 January 2019. The Delegation of Great Britain and Ireland of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George and the Royal Order of Francis I notes with much sadness the passing on 10 January 2019 of Sir Conrad Swan, aged 94.
Sir Conrad was a prominent member and supporter of the Order’s Delegation in Britain and Ireland spanning over 45 years. He served numerous terms on the delegation council in London and in recognition of this service he was invested by decree of the Grand Master as a Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George on 4 July 1994. Sir Conrad was first invested into the Order in 1975 as a Knight Grand Cross of Grace. He was later appointed as a Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Francis I in 2006 in recognition of his services to the delegation council and to inter-religious understanding.
Sir Conrad served as Garter Principal King of Arms from 1992 until his retirement in 1995. As such he was the principal adviser to the monarch with respect to ceremonial and heraldry with specific responsibility for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and, with the exception of Canada, for the Commonwealth Realms of which Queen Elizabeth II is Sovereign. He was instrumental in the establishment of various national honours systems including Antigua & Barbuda.
Sir Conrad, born in British Columbia in 1924 and descended from the noble Polish family of Święcicki, was the first Canadian ever appointed to the English College of Arms. During his long service to the College, which commenced in 1962, he acted for the State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and was also on duty for the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969. Sir Conrad, a practicing Roman Catholic, was Gentleman Usher-in-Waiting to Pope John Paul II during the historic Papal Visit to Great Britain in 1982.
Sir Conrad was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by HM The Queen in 1994 having first been invested into the lower ranks of the Order from 1984 onwards. He was a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of St John and a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Additionally Sir Conrad was honoured by several states for his professional work including Antigua & Barbuda, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Tonga.
Sir Conrad is survived by four daughters and a son. His late wife Lady Hilda Swan, who passed away in 1995, was appointed as a Dame of Justice of the Constantinian Order in1975.
Sir Conrad will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam. Requiescat in pace.