The term crown jewels is commonly used for regalia items designed to lend luster to occasions such as coronations. They feature some combination of precious materials, artistic merit, and symbolic or historical value. Crown jewels may have been designated at the start of a dynasty, accumulated through many years of tradition, or sent as tangible recognition of legitimacy by some leader such as the pope to an emperor or caliph. Each culture, even each monarchy and dynasty within one culture, may have its own historical traditions, and some even have a specific name for its regalia, or at least for an important subset, such as: The Honours of Scotland  The Nigerian Royal Regalia  The Three Sacred Treasures of the Emperor of Japan. But some elements occur in many traditions.

The ancient Romans used similar insignia on their shields, but these identified military units rather than individuals. The first evidence of medieval coats of arms is found in the 11th century Bayeux Tapestry in which some of the combatants carry shields painted with crosses. Coats of arms came into general use by feudal lords and knights in battle in the 12th century. By the 13th century, arms had spread beyond their initial battlefield use to become a flag or emblem for families in the higher social classes of Europe, inherited from one generation to the next. Exactly who had a right to use arms, by law or social convention, varied to some degree between countries.A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on an escutcheon (i.e. shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which consists of shield, supporters, crest, and motto. The design is a symbol unique to an individual person or family (except in the UK), corporation, or state.

The heraldic tradition and style of modern and historic Germany and the Holy Roman Empire — including national and civic arms, noble and burgher arms, ecclesiastical heraldry, heraldic displays, and heraldic descriptions — stand in contrast to Gallo-British, Latin and Eastern heraldry, and strongly influenced the styles and customs of heraldry in the Nordic countries, which developed comparatively late.

Membership applications are subject to approval by our Grandmaster.  Find out about each membership category including the relevant membership regulations, guidance on how to apply, and application forms. By becoming a member you will join a global network of dignitaries and like minded spiritual, humanitarian and philanthropic individuals. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of the many benefits of membership.

Membership of the Order is open to those persons of mature age (21), willing to accept the goals and discipline of the Order; pay the prescribed fees determined by the Governing and Executive Council. Members may be proposed for promotion to a higher class after an acceptable period or exceptional services rendered either to the Church or the Order. 
Membership of the Order is divided into the following classes: Knight (or Dames), Officer, Commander, Grand Cross, Lieutenant Grand Cross, Knighthood classes of the Order are further divided into the following divisions, Justice (available to those who can provide proof of nobility-Four Quarters, Grace (Available to those nobles, their proofs being acceptable by the Grand Master), Merit (having at least their arms registered and approved by the Grand Master. Women may be admitted into the Order and shall use the same styles and titles as men. Knights may use the title “Bro. Knight or Sister Dame”.