The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Collar
Image courtesy of Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, History of the Orders of Knighthood of the British Empire,of the order of the Guelphs of Hanover; and of the medals, clasps, and crosses, conferred for naval and military service, Vol. 4, 1842.
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The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick was established by King George III in 1783 to recognize Irish Peers. It never reached the status of the Order of the Thistle, although it is regarded as the Irish equivalent. It has fallen into abeyance since the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, and only three members of the British family were appointed Knights after this date. It has never been formally discontinued, and the reigning British monarch remains the Grand Master of the Order.
Membership of the Order was originally restricted to 15 Knights, but King George IV expanded the membership to 22 Knights in 1821. This change was not formalized until 1833 when King William III instituted an official change to the statutes of the Order. No women were ever appointed to the Order, and only Queen Victoria existed as a member due to her position as British Sovereign.
The motto of the Order is QUIS SEPARABIT, which is Latin for “Who will separate us?”
The Collar was worn by members on formal occasions along with a mantle and hat. It is composed of alternating links of roses, harps, and gold knots. The badge appendant is suspended from an Imperial Crown and gold harp. The badge appendant features a shamrock on a saltire cross surrounded by the motto of the Order and its institution date.
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