A 19th century lithograph showing the insignia of St. Stanislas in all classes

A 19th century lithograph showing the insignia of St. Stanislas in all classes

INTRODUCTION

            The Imperial and Royal Order of St Stanislas[1], today one of the Russian Imperial Orders of Chivalry, has a most complicated history amongst the Russian honours, both before the revolution and after.  Beginning its existence as the second in precedence of the Polish Royal Orders of Chivalry[2], it became, after its assimilation into the Russian Imperial Awards system the most junior of the Russian Orders, as well as the most frequently awarded until the revolution of 1917[3].

            While its prestige in Poland, in Imperial Russia, and after the Russian revolution changed over the years, the importance of the Order’s symbolism has not waned either for Poles or for Russians; while St. Stanislas continued to be awarded by the Russian Imperial House[4] after the revolution, it was also, briefly, the only one of the Imperial Orders maintained and awarded under the Russian Provisional Government.[5] In Poland, the state-awarded “Order of Polonia Restituta[6]” rightly also claims the history of the independent Polish Royal Order of St. Stanislas as its own.

            The indiscriminate adoption of the insignia of St. Stanislas for use by other social organizations and philanthropic groups (particularly since the 1970’s) has led to a sizeable number of “self-styled orders” and “mimic groups” that claim descent from either the Polish or the Russian Orders (or both), several that claim chivalric legitimacy, and a few that simply serve as social groups for people who seek the prestige associated with chivalric tradition.  These groups usurp the insignia of the only recognized extant chivalric Order of St. Stanislas, that which is awarded today by H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia[7].

            This article aims to acquaint the general non-specialist reader with the history of the Russian Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas from its Polish Royal Origins to its assimilation[8] into the Chapter of Russian Imperial Orders in 1831, its history during and after the fall of the Russian Empire, and its present-day existence as a dynastic award of the Russian Imperial House.

THE ROYAL POLISH ORDER

Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, King of Poland

Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, King of Poland

            The Royal Order of Saint Stanislas was founded by Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, King of Poland, on the 7th of May, 1765.  The Order was named after Poland’s patron saint, St. Stanisław (Kostka).[9]  The Order was founded with only one class, and ranked second to the Order of the White Eagle, the Kingdom of Poland’s premier decoration.  The Order’s motto is PRAEMIANDO INCITAT.[10]  The King-Grand Master and foreign awardees were not included in the numbers of the Order, which were restricted to one hundred knights total. 

            The statutes of the Royal order required all knights to prove four quarterings of nobility[11] for entrance, and once admitted, were required to swear loyalty to the King and to the State, and to protect the poor (a standard knightly obligation). A passage fee of twenty-five złotys was charged, plus an annual payment of four złotys, as well as an annual additional obedience of one złoty for a fund to provide funeral requiems for deceased knights of the Order.  The Order’s seat and where the Order’s investitures took place was the Church of the Holy Cross[12] in Warsaw.

A late 18th century badge of the Polish Royal Order of St. Stanislas with the image of the saint, original Polish white eagles in the axillae, and ruby glass set in the arms of the Maltese cross.

A late 18th century badge of the Polish Royal Order of St. Stanislas with the image of the saint, original Polish white eagles in the axillae, and ruby glass set in the arms of the Maltese cross.

            Rafe Heydel-Mankoo, in his essay on the early history of the Order in Burke’s World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, (Sainty, ed.) notes that from its earliest days, the Order was compromised by the influence of Catherine II, who had helped to set Poniatowski on the Polish throne.  Under her aegis, the statutes of the order were largely ignored, and between 1765 and 1795, one thousand seventeen hundred and seventy-four appointments to the order had been made[13].  This high number of appointments, coupled with the large number of Russian-sympathizing knights did a great deal to diminish the prestige of the Order amongst the highly nationalistic Poles.  The last official appointment to the Royal Order was on the 8th of May, 1793.  For Polish nationalists, this is the date on which the Order is considered to have entered a state of abeyance[14], however, the Order was not officially dissolved, and in 1795 the Order came closer to falling under the purview of the Russian Imperial Orders, and so it is this date that begins the next phase of the Order’s history.

 

THE ORDER IN POLAND UNDER RUSSIAN RULE

Emperor Alexander I Pavlovich (1801-1825)

Emperor Alexander I Pavlovich (1801-1825)

            In 1795, the partition of the Kingdom of Poland between Russia, Prussia, and Austria resulted in the collapse of the Polish monarchy[15], and the Order remained in the Polish capital after partition, though largely inactive.  The complications of Napoleonic central European history exceed the scope of this article, but it is fair to say that the Order was extant (it was revived on 16 February 1809 as an Order of the Duchy of Warsaw) though inactive until 1815, when the decisions of the Congress of Vienna resulted in the creation of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, under the control of the Russian Emperor Alexander I.

            Alexander I immediately rallied the remaining knights of the Order of St. Stanislas, many of whom, as has been previously mentioned, were ethnic Russians in Poland, or Russian sympathizers.  The order was reconstituted, operating under its original statutes, but Alexander I added an annual knightly oblation to the Foundling Hospital in Warsaw[16].

            The Order further diminished in prestige among Poles as it began to be awarded by the Russian Tsar (and now Polish King) and his Viceroy in Poland, the Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia, to the very men who put down Polish resistance to the Russian Crown.

            In September of 1829, the Emperor Nicholas I made a series of sweeping reforms in Poland, and the Order was divided into four classes, with the requirements for nobility in four quarterings abolished.  Membership in the Order was opened up to include members of the military and civil service with unblemished records who had served thirty-five years in service, as well as private awards at the discretion of the Emperor. All classes of the Order also conferred hereditary nobility.  The Emperor continued to use the Orders of the White Eagle and St. Stanislas to reward Poles, Russians, and foreigners in Poland who supported Russian rule, giving real meaning to the motto of the Order of St. Stanislas, praemiando incitat.  This empire-building move on the part of Emperor Nicholas I could not stop the swell of protests in Poland, however, and the unsuccessful “November Uprising” resulted in a series of edicts designed to bring the rebellious Polish province into line. 

 

THE IMPERIAL AND ROYAL ORDER OF ST. STANISLAS

Emperor Nicholas I Pavlovich (1825-1855)

Emperor Nicholas I Pavlovich (1825-1855)

            After the downfall of the uprising, on November 17th, 1831, Nicholas I absorbed both the Polish Royal Orders of the White Eagle and St. Stanislas into the Orders of the Russian Empire, moving their central administration from Warsaw to St. Petersburg, and placing the administration of the Orders under the purview of the Imperial Chapter of Orders. From this time, the Polish Orders became full Dynastic Orders of the Russian Empire, and were placed in precedence within the established Russian orders.  An appointment to the award of St. Andrew the First-Called, the premier order of the Russian Empire, conferred with it the first class awards of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the White Eagle, the Order of St. Anna, and the Order of St. Stanislas.[17] [18]

            Because the Order had begun its life as a Roman Catholic one, and St. Stanislaus Kostka was not recognized on the Russian Orthodox Church calendar, the image of the Saint was removed from the central medallion of the insignia, and replaced with a cypher of the saint’s name “SS”, and it was not allowed to be awarded to the Orthodox Clergy[19]. The single-headed white Polish eagles that had adorned the axillae of the red enameled Maltese cross of the order were likewise removed, and replaced with the gold double-headed eagles of the Russian Empire.

REVISED STATUTES OF THE ORDER

A mid-nineteenth century badge of the Order of St. Stanislas.

A mid-nineteenth century badge of the Order of St. Stanislas.

            In 1839, Nicholas I released new statutes for the Order, opening it to be received by “any subject of the Russian Empire or the Kingdom of Poland” from the military, civil, or private sectors, as well as to foreigners. The Order, which at that point had four classes: the first two awarded with stars, was reduced to three classes with the star now reserved for the first class knights of the Order[20].  The second class knights of the order were divided into two groups: those allowed to bear an imperial crown on the badge of the order, and those without.  In 1844, it was further restricted that non-Christian recipients of the Order received badges without the cypher of St. Stanislas, and with the double headed eagle in black on a yellow enamel ground.  The insignia of the Order were finally codified as follows:

THE INSIGNIA OF THE ORDER [21]

A Sash Badge of the Order of St. Stanislas, First Class, ca. 1890 by Keibel.

A Sash Badge of the Order of St. Stanislas, First Class, ca. 1890 by Keibel.

            In the First Class, the badge is a gold Maltese cross pommy, enameled red. The axillae between
the arms of the cross are ornamented with double-headed eagles in gold, and the space between the
points of the arms with ribbed semi-circles[22] also in gold. The central medallion of white enamel
bears the intertwined letters SS (for Saint Stanislas) in red surrounded by a green enameled wreath. The
reverse of the medallion is similarly inscribed with this cypher. The eight-pointed star in silver with a central medallion of white enamel with the letters SS in red surrounded by the motto of the order, Premiando Incitat in gold. This in turn is surrounded by band
of green enamel ornamented with four sprays of laurel leaves in gold. The badge is suspended on a
sash of red moiré with two white stripes and worn over the right shoulder. The star is worn on the
left breast.    

Star of the Order of St. Stanislas, First Class, by Keibel, ca. 1900.

Star of the Order of St. Stanislas, First Class, by Keibel, ca. 1900.

A Breast Badge of the Order of St. Stanislas, Third Class, by Eduard, ca. 1880.

A Breast Badge of the Order of St. Stanislas, Third Class, by Eduard, ca. 1880.

            In the Second Class, the badge is identical to that of the first class sash badge, only smaller in size and worn around the neck on a red-and-white ribbon.

            In the Third Class, the badge is again identical to that of the second class, only yet still smaller, and worn on the left breast. Originally, the third class badge had a special double bow that was added as a distinction, but these seem to have disappeared in the reign of Nicholas II.[23][24]  In 1855, military recipients of the order were granted crossed swords on the star and badge of the order.

THE ORDER OF ST. STANISLAS AND ENNOBLEMENT

            From 1839 until 1855, all classes of the Order awarded hereditary nobility, but the sheer volume of new ennoblements disturbed the ancient nobility of both Poland and Russia, and so from 1845-1855, no awards of the second or third class were made[25].  After the 28th of June, 1855, a further revision to the statutes was enacted, restricting hereditary nobility to the first class only, but granting personal nobility[26] to knights of the second and third classes. 

Examples of the Order of St. Stanislas with Swords, denoting an award for military service. Marked K for Keibel, ca. 1900.

Examples of the Order of St. Stanislas with Swords, denoting an award for military service. Marked K for Keibel, ca. 1900.

AFTER 1855

            As of 1855, the Order of St. Stanislas, third class was the junior most award in the order of precedence of the Russian Empire.  As such, it became the most frequently granted.  The Order served as a final reward for many years of service to the State with a blameless record, and because the statutes of the Order allowed presentation to military, government and civil employees, as well as merchants and foreigners, this meant that almost every state employee ultimately received the award, diminishing its prestige considerably.  It is estimated that the Order was presented almost 750,000 times from 1815-1917, and by the reign of Nicholas II, the award was given the most frequently—between 1903-1911 the award was presented between 5,300-15,750 times per year, with an average of around 6000 times per annum.[27]

Emperor Nicholas II Alexandrovich (1894-1917)

Emperor Nicholas II Alexandrovich (1894-1917)

            Nicholas II may have awarded the Order more frequently than previous emperors for a variety of reasons.  It had fewer restrictions than the other orders, and it could be given at his personal discretion in order to ennoble men who could then be considered for orders such as St. Anna and St. Vladimir.  St. Stanislas became the “entry level” award that allowed many non-nobles, merchants, and foreigners within the Empire access to the civil rights that nobles enjoyed—exemption from military service, the right to purchase land, exemption from corporal punishment, and a host of other rights formerly unavailable to them as “classless” (raznochintsy) subjects[28]

            In her seminal work “The Russian Imperial Award System in the Reign of Nicholas II” Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm speculates that through the his early use of the award of St. Stanislas, Nicholas II might have effectively created a large, educated upper middle-class with the most basic rights of the nobility—a new civil status available to any Russian, provided they served the state loyally.  In the reign of Nicholas II, the time it took for civil employees to achieve the Order of St. Stanislas dropped from 25-35 years to 5-7 years, generating a younger and more socially ambitious group of knights—these advances, however, were cut short by the tragedy of the revolution[29].

 

THE REVOLUTION AND THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT

Provisional or "Republican" Orders of Saint Stanislas.  Note the gilt-metal construction and crownless eagles.

Provisional or "Republican" Orders of Saint Stanislas.  Note the gilt-metal construction and crownless eagles.

            In 1917, the awarding of all of the Imperial Orders temporarily ceased with the abdication of Nicholas II.  Caught in the First World War, the Provisional Government usurped the insignia of the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas[30], and after removing the Imperial crowns from the eagles, began presenting the “Republican Order of St. Stanislas” to men serving in combat, and to foreigners who assisted Russia.  These “Provisional” St. Stanislas medals, awarded from March-November of 1917 are made of gilt-metal and cold enamel[31], and are quite rare[32]

            Once the Bolsheviks took control of the government, the awarding of the provisional medals ceased.

 

AWARDS BY THE IMPERIAL HOUSE AFTER THE REVOLUTION

H.I.H. Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovuch of Russia (De jure Emperor Kirill I Vladimirovich 1918-1938)  Note the Order of St. Stanislas fourth from left, the "SS" clearly visible.

H.I.H. Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovuch of Russia (De jure Emperor Kirill I Vladimirovich 1918-1938)  Note the Order of St. Stanislas fourth from left, the "SS" clearly visible.

            Among Kirill I Vladimirovich’s first acts on his accession to the rights of the Head of the Imperial House was to restore the traditions of Imperial awards within the Imperial Family and with other Dynastic Houses.  On the 23rd of April, 1923, H.H. Prince George Konstantinovich of Russia attained his dynastic majority, and so in observance of the established laws of the Imperial Family, Kirill I awarded[33] him the Order of St. Andrew, which conferred with it the first class orders of St. Alexander Nevsky, the White Eagle, St. Anna, and St. Stanislas.  By virtue of his accession to the headship of the Imperial House, Kirill I's children were raised from the style of Highness and Prince and Princess of the Imperial Blood to the style of Imperial Highness and Grand Duke and Grand Duchess.  On his elevation from Prince of the Blood Imperial to Grand Duke, Kirill’s son Vladimir Kirillovich was awarded the Order of St. Andrew, and therefore also with the Order of St. Stanislas, First class.  Thus, we see that the first post-revolutionary awards of St. Stanislas were within the Imperial Family in 1923 and 1924.  

H.I.H. Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia (De jure Emperor Vladimir III Kirillovich 1938-1992)

H.I.H. Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia (De jure Emperor Vladimir III Kirillovich 1938-1992)

            Through appointment to the Order of St. Andrew, statutory awards of St. Stanislas first class were subsequently awarded in 1934, 1938, 1948, 1951, 1963, 1965, 1969, and 1970[34].  In 1974 the Order of St. Stanislas, First class was awarded independently by Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich to Conde Don Sebastian Feliu de Cabrera[35].  After the accession of Grand Duchess Maria in 1992, the Order continued to be awarded with that of St. Andrew and was again presented in 1993 and 1994.

            With the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of a regular Chancellery of H.I.H. in Russia and in Spain, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna began awarding the Imperial Honors with more regularity than her predecessors.[36]  In 2003, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna awarded the Order of St. Stanislas First Class to Prince Andrei S. Obolensky, and in 2004 in the Third Class to Peter K. Grebelsky[37].  Since 2004, the awarding of the Order has been regularized, and since 2010 there have been semiannual appointments.  As of 2012, there were approximately 150 Knights of St. Stanislas in all classes, almost entirely Russian, but with very rare awards to foreign recipients[38].

H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (De jure Empress Maria I Vladimirovna 1992- ).

H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (De jure Empress Maria I Vladimirovna 1992- ).

           On April 3rd, 2014, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna awarded the Order of St. Andrew, and with it, the statutory award of St. Stanislas, First Class to the Prince Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta. The Orders of St. Andrew, the White Eagle, St. Anna, and St. Stanislas were also conferred upon the two previous Prince Grand Masters of the Order of Malta: Fra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna (1962-1988), and Fra' Andrew Bertie (1988-2008).  In reciprocation, and following a long tradition of investing male dynasts of the Imperial House of Russia, the Prince Grand Master invested H.I.H. Grand Duke George as a Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour & Devotion in the SMOM.

             Today the number of Knights of the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas are few, and their numbers more in line with the original statutes of 1756, when the number of knights was limited to just 100.

 

ADDENDUM: SELF-STYLED AND MIMIC ORDERS

            There are, of course, those who disagree with the awarding of the Order of St. Stanislas by the Imperial House, though it has been done for over 90 years since the revolution, and though it is recognized by most legitimate and authoritative bodies and references[39].

            Because of the history of the Order of St. Stanislas as a Royal Order of Poland, its subsequent history as a Russian Dynastic Order of Merit, there has been confusion about which Order is the legitimate descendant of this tradition.  The only legitimate extant Chivalric Order of St. Stanislas is defined in Burke’s World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, and by the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry[40], and the only legitimate Orders today that claim descent from the Royal Order of St. Stanislas are the “Order of Polonia Restituta” given by the Polish state, and which is regarded as a reconstitution of the independent Royal Polish Order by Poland[41], and the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas awarded by the Russian Imperial House, which is regarded as the continuation of the Polish-Russian Order.  

            Since the 1970s there have been a proliferation of “self-styled” and “mimic” orders which muddy the real history of the Order of St. Stanislas, and confuse innocent or uninformed men and women who are interested in Orders of Chivalry.  Several of these “orders” have been covered in detail by the chivalric scholars Guy Stair Sainty and Rafe Heydel-Mankoo in their published works on this topic[42]

            Mimic groups using the insignia do so by usurpation, and those groups that have adopted variations of the insignia or the name of the Order of St. Stanislas, vary in their intent.  Some describe themselves as purely social and philanthropic organizations along the lines of freemasons, elks, or rotary clubs, while others insist that they are legitimate Orders of Chivalry awarding “Knighthoods,” and the final group are those who maintain that they are direct continuations of the Polish Royal Order, the Russian Imperial and Royal Order, or an order awarded by one of the several illegitimate “Polish Republics in Exile.”  Here is a short list of several of the largest mimic orders that exist today:

The Order of St. Stanislas (Nowina-Sokolnicki)

            This “Order” was headed by the self-styled “His Serene Highness Prince Grand Master Count Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki,” who claims to have succeeded to the headship of his Order by virtue of his succession in 1979 to the presidency of the Polish Republic in Exile.  This “Order” has fractured many times since the democratic Polish Republic denied Mr. Sokolicki’s claims regarding his headship of the democratic state of Poland in exile.  Information about this group may be seen here: http://www.ststanislas.org.[43]

The International Order of St. Stanislas

            In the 1990’s, as the illusion of legitimacy began to crumble around the Nowina-Sokolnicki Order, many of the “priories” (ie independent local subgroups of the N-S Order) broke away and established independence.  Some were Polish-leaning, others still claimed the Russian tradition for their Order. Many developed into private charitable organizations that raise money for worthy causes.  Several of these are in the United Kingdom, and now under the umbrella of the “International Order of St. Stanislas.” One of these is The British Association of Chevaliers of the Order of Saint Stanislas, information about which is found here http://www.ststanislas.org.uk

The Imperial Order of St. Stanislas

            The "Imperial Order of St. Stanislas" http://www.ststanislas.com, also under the umbrella of the “International Order,” was, until recently, called “The Order of St. Stanislas in Norway,” though also based in Great Britain.  It does not claim to be anything other than a social and philanthropic organization, with no connection to or pretense of descent from the actual Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas. 

            That said, this group briefly claimed “Royal Patronage” in the person of several descendants of the Russian Imperial House, as well as having claimed the official support of the Romanoff Family Association[44].  It is currently unclear which members of the Romanoff Family Association remain involved, if any.  This simultaneous association with members of the Romanoff Family Association while denying any association with the legitimate Order was at best disingenuous on the part of the "Order's" governance. 

             On November 25, 2014, the Facebook page of Imperial fantasist Valery Kubarev "Sovereign Emperor of Holy Russia Grand Prince Valeriy Viktorovich Kubarev" announced that he had visited Stockholm, and had taken part in solemn ceremony of Investiture of the Imperial Order of St. Stanislas, and had received the honorary title of the Grand Commander of Order and had taken up duties of the Grand Protector and Patron of the Imperial Order of St. Stanislas.

 

Ordo Sancti Stanislai

            Under the “Grand Mastership” of “Count Woldemar Wilk”, the “adopted son” of Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki, this Polish-centered group maintains that it is “originally a dynastic chivalric order from Poland, it is now an international charitable non-profit association in the form of a private chivalric order,” its also has a website is at http://ordo-sancti-stanislai.com , and is in no way related to the legitimate Order.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

For the Statutes and Amendments of the Imperial Orders see (in Russian):

http://george-orden.narod.ru/statut1892.html

For the Statutes and Amendments of the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas see (in Russian):

http://george-orden.narod.ru/statut1892s08.html

Sainty, Guy Stair (ed.), World Order of Knighthood and Merit., London: Burke’s Peerage, 2006

Shishkov, S. Awards of Russia: 1698-1917 Dnepropetrovsk, 2003.

Szeftel, Marc. The Russian Constitution of April 23, 1906: Political Institutions of the Duma Monarchy. Brussels: Librairie Encyclopédique, 1976.

Tillander-Godenhielm, Ulla. The Russian Imperial Award System in the Reign of Nicholas II; 1896-1917.,  Vammala: Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy, 2005.

Werlich, Robert, Orders Decorations and Medals Including Those of Imperial Russia, the Provisional Government, the Civil War, and the Soviet Union.  (Second Ed. ) Washington, 1981

 

 

FOOTNOTES

[1] In Polish: Order Świętego Stanisława Biskupa Męczennika, In Russian: Императорский и Царский Орден Святого Станислава.

[2] After that of the Order of the White Eagle, also absorbed into the Russian Chapter of Orders.

[3] It is estimated that between 1831 and 1917, the Order of St. Stanislas was awarded almost 750,000 times (cf. Tillander-Godenhielm, p. 58)

[4] HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna continues the tradition of awarding the Honours of the Russian Empire, as did her father and grandfather before her.

[5] With the Imperial Crowns removed, the "Republican" Order of St. Stanislas was awarded from March-November of 1917. (cf Werlich)

[6] Sainty, Guy Stair (Ed.) World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, p. 1473, London: Burke’s, 2006

[7] Orders awarded by Maria Vladimirovna are confirmed by Burke’s Peerage and its World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, The International Commission of Orders of Chivalry, and other recognized organizations.  The Russian Federation has allowed certain of the Imperial Orders to be worn at State Occasions and in Uniform.

[8] Many Poles argue that the Order was usurped and degraded by the Russian Crown.

[9] Stanisław Kostka S.J. (born 28th October 1550, died 15th August 1568), was a Polish Jesuit novice. In the Roman Catholic Church of Poland he is venerated as Saint Stanislaus Kostka. Born in Poland in the town of Rostkowo on the 28th of  October 1550, he died at Rome on the night of 14–15 August 1568. He is said to have foretold his death a few days before it occurred. The Roman Catholic Church declared him a saint in 1605.

[10]  “By Rewards Encourage”, or  “Encourage by Rewarding”

[11] Meaning that each of the Knight’s four grandparents were noble.

[12] The Church of the Holy Cross (Kościół Św. Krzyża, or Bazylika Św. Krzyża, Kościół świętokrzyski') was one of the most notable Baroque churches in Poland's capital. Damaged heavily during the WWII Warsaw Uprising, it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1944, but rebuilt after the war in a modified baroque style.  Chopin’s heart is entombed in one of its pillars.

[13] Sainty, Guy Stair (ed.), World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, p. 1476, London: Burke’s, 2006.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid., p. 1477. King Stanislas, exiled to France, continued to award the Order until his death in 1798, but by then, in Poland, the Order was under Russian control.

[16] ibid, p. 1476

[17] Sainty, Guy Stair (ed.), World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, p. 1476, London: Burke’s, 2006.

[18] In the memoirs of H.H. Prince (later H.I.H. Grand Duke) Gavril Konstantinovich of Russia’s "Memories of the Marble Palace", he writes of this group award: “We were met with a great surprise: ribbons of the Orders of St. Andrew, and of all the Orders lower than St. Andrew, except the St. George and St. Vladimir. The last two were given to members of the Imperial Family only as recognition for service. Each of us received two large red boxes. There were [the] ribbons of the Orders of St. Alexander, of the White Eagle, of St. Anna, and of St. Stanislav, and a star and an Order to each of them in one box, and a chain of St. Andrew in the other.”

[19] Images of saints are considered holy in Orthodoxy, and as St. Stanislas was not a Saint on the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church, this was likely a reason both to remove the image, and to refuse the award to Orthodox clergy (author).

[20] Statutes of the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas, see: Section Two (Statutes of the Differences of the Orders and Insignia), Chapter Nine (Statutes of the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas), Part One (General Provision of the Order), Sections 511-514.

[21] This section on the insignia is largely drawn from Tillander-Godenhielm, (p. 137), which is, in itself, a virtually direct translation from the 1839 Statutes of the Order.  With minor changes the author quotes the Tillander-Godenhielm text.

[22] Described in various sources as “ribbons” or “shells.”

[23] Tillander-Godenhielm, p. 137.

[24] As an additional honorific augmentation, The Order of St. Stanislas was also awarded “with Diamonds,” but after 1874, only to foreigners.  These awards were very rare, and three ordered during the reign Alexander III were probably the last. (cf. T-G, p. 138)

[25] Tillander-Godenhielm, p. 137. Also cf. http://medalirus.ru/rus-ordena/orden-svyatogo-stanislava.php  

[26] Lichnoye dvoryanstvo or Nobility “ad personam” granted certain rights of the hereditary nobility to an individual, without the right to transmit them to his descendants.  As one rose through the ranks of the Russian Orders, this “personal” nobility could be transformed into “hereditary” nobility through service. (For a discussion of personal and hereditary nobility, cf. Tillander-Godenhielm, p. 47-54.)

[27] Tillander-Godenhielm, p. 138.

[28] Many of these rights, formerly only granted to those with noble status beame basic rights of Russian subjects after the passing of the Constitution of 1906.  See Chapter Eight (Articles 69-83) Szeftel, Marc (trans.), The Russian Constitution of April 23, 1906: Political Institutions of the Duma Monarchy. Brussels: Librairie Encyclopédique, 1976.

[29] Ibid., p. 138.

[30] Possibly to garner support from the tens of thousands of men who had received it in the previous reign, or possibly due to its “democratic” award policies.

[31] At the beginning of the First World War, as part of the war effort, all Chevalier-medal holders of the Russian Empire were instructed to turn in their decorations made of gold and silver gilt to be melted down to help the State—they were to be replaced when the War was over. This never happened. As a result, most of the surviving medals of St. Stanislas in particular are made of giltmetal.

[32] Cf.  http://medalirus.ru/rus-ordena/orden-svyatogo-stanislava.php

[33] Kirill declared himself “curator” of the throne in 1923, and may have issued the award to George Konstantinovich in this capacity, though it is possible that the reward was considered automatic under the statutes of the imperial family. For more on the title of Curator (Bliustitel’) see:  Dumin, Stanislav,  Romanovy:  Imperatorskii dom v izdnanii, Moscow:  Zakharov, 1998, p.117.  The primary source is published in Nasledovanie Rossiiskogo Imperatorskogo Prestola, p. 65. See also (for differeing views) Massie, Robert K. Romanovs:  The Final Chapter, p. 262, and Nazarov, Mikhail Kto naslednik Rossiiskogo Prestola? 2d ed. Moscow:  Russkaia Idea, 1998, p. 34. 

[34] Cf. in Russian only this useful wiki entry on awards of the Imperial House after 1917: http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Пожалования_титулов_и_орденов_Российской_империи_после_1917_года

[35] Cf. Website of the Orders of Russian Imperial House, “Order of St. Stanislas,” (in Russian) http://www.saintanna.ru

[36] The Heads of the Imperial House were, in emigration, very judicious in their awards of Russian honors.  These have been largely restricted to members of the Russian Imperial House, members of other Sovereign houses, and individuals of the Russian emigration who were of continued service to the Russian Imperial House. With the fall of the Soviet Union, it has been the pleasure of the Imperial House to one again be able to award honors to Russian citizens regularly—this was the original intent and purpose of all of the dynastic orders of merit of the Russian Imperial House (author).

[37] ibid. In total there have been four scholarly web pages that dealt with Soklonicki's self-styled St. Stanislas: Heydel-Mankoo, Pangloss, Harrison and Sainty (cf: archived on-line reference here: http://archive.today/2VM9d)

[38] ibid.

{C}{C}{C}{C}[39] See notes 7 & 8.  Members of the Romanoff Family Association (see note 44) do not recognize the dynastic awards given by the Russian imperial House.

[40] The ICOC is the uncontested international authority on legitimate Orders of Chivalry. http://www.icocregister.org

[41] Sainty, Guy Stair (ed.), World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, p. 2020, London: Burke’s, 2006.

[42] Cf. Sainty, Guy Stair “Self-Styled Orders.” Originally published online, the bulk of this text may be found in its most up-to-date-form in the text of Burke’s World Orders…etc.

[43] An excellent summation of the history of this group by Rafe Heydel-Mankoo may be found in Burke’s “World Orders of Knighthood and Merit,” (Sainty, ed.) p. 2020-21.

[44] The Romanoff Family Association is a private organization composed entirely of non-dynastic male and female line descendants of the House of Romanov. Their current elected president is Nicholas Romanovich Romanov.

[45] http://popimpresskajournal.org/popimpresska-journal-for-the-400th-anniversary-of-romanoff-dynasty-h-e-grande-dame-countess-nicholas-bobrinskoy-presents/ Rostislav Rostislavovich Romanov is a Knight Grand Cross of the "Orthodox Order of St. John", headed by Countess Nicholas Bobrinskoy. For over 40 years, this fraternal group and charitable organization, entirely unconnected to the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta, has been affiliated both with members of the Imperial House and morganatic descendants of the House of Romanov.  HH Prince Vassili of Russia served as "Imperial Protector" in the 1970's, and more recently, Michael Andreevich Romanoff served as "protector." The Bobrinskoy group, while not a legitimate or recognized Order of Chivalry, is an incorporated US charitable organization with an important record of philanthropy.  HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son, Grand Duke George are each Baliffs Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta (SMOM) as was HIH Grand Duke Vladimir. All Russian Emperors from Paul I to Nicholas II were members of the SMOM (except Alexander II, who was assassinated before the award could be bestowed.), as were many Grand Dukes.

[46] Nicholas Romanovich erroneously claims headship of the dynasty in disregard of the laws of semi-salic primogeniture prescribed by the Statutes of the Imperial Family..