Main page / Orders and Awards / 2012-11-21 An Imperial Decree On the Reorganization of the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel and the Creation of an International Association of this Order

2012-11-21 An Imperial Decree On the Reorganization of the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel and the Creation of an International Association of this Order

By the Grace of God We Grand Duchess Maria of Russia Head of the Russian Imperial House and Sovereign of the Russian Imperial and Royal Orders

in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the ending of the Time of Troubles, the reestablishment of the Russian State, and the ascension to the throne of Our House, and for the strengthening and further development of the tradition within the Russian Imperial House of philanthropy, deem it good to reorganize the Order of St. Michael the Archangel, which was founded by Our Ever-Memorable Father, Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, and to create within it an International Association, all to be governed by a new Statute.

H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

Issued in Madrid, November 8/21, 2012
Feast of the Holy Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Powers

A.N. Zakatov
Director of H.I.H.’s Chancellery

Statutes of the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel and of the International Association of the Order of St. Michael the Archangel The Order of St. Michael the Archangel was founded in 1988 by His Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, Head of the Imperial House of Russia, in commemoration of the 1000 years of Russian Orthodoxy, the 375th anniversary of the ascension of the Romanoff Dynasty, and the 50th anniversary of his own accession as head of the dynasty. In 2012, the Order was reorganized by the Most August Daughter and Legal Heiress of Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, for the purpose of strengthening and further developing the Russian Imperial tradition of philanthropy, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the ending of the Time of Troubles, the reestablishment of the Russian State, and the ascension to the throne of the House of Romanoff.

ARTICLE ONE - THE ORDER OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

1. The Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel is awarded to persons of both sexes for distinguished services in charity and philanthropy.

2. The Order of St. Michael the Archangel has three classes, as follows: The first class: Knights and Dames Grand Cross of St. Michael the Archangel The second class: Knights and Dames Commander of St. Michael the Archangel The third class: Knights and Dames of St. Michael the Archangel

Knights and Dames of the Order who were invested in accordance with the previous Statutes of the Order of St. Michael the Archangel shall under these revised Statutes be considered Knights and Dames Commander (Second Class).

Admittance to the Order does not confer nobility.

3. Investiture into the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel is conferred by Decree of the Head of the Russian Imperial House. A Diploma issuing the right to wear the device of the Order is to be signed personally by the Head of the Russian Imperial House and countersigned by the Director of H.I.H.’s Chancellery or by the Chancellor for Orders and Awards of the Russian Imperial House, and to bear the seal of H.I.H.’s Chancellery.

4. In the order of precedence of the Imperial and Royal Orders, the Order of St. Michael follows after the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislaw.

5. The motto of the Order is “Mercy and Truth” (Prov. 3:3).

6. The Feast Day of the Order is to be celebrated on November 8/21—the Feast Day of the Holy Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Powers. This day should be marked by all knights and dames of the Order, and by all members and officers of the International Association of the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel, with Divine Services and substantial acts of charity and philanthropy in the name of the Order and of the Head of the Russian Imperial House. It is on this day that investiture ceremonies into the Order and promotions to higher degrees of the Order should take place.

Description of the Devices of the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel:

The Device of the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel is a four-pointed cross, black fimbriated gold, with arms flanging at the ends, with a central round enamel medallion. On the recto of the medallion is a blue outer ring, fimbriated gold, around an image of St. Michael the Archangel in gold. The entire device is under an Imperial Crown.

On the verso of the medallion, a blue field upon which appears the monogram of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich with the date “1613” in gold, and the monogram of Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, with the date “1988,” also in gold.

The Star of the Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel is eight-pointed. On the medallion in the center appears a miniature version of the Cross of the Order, surrounded by the Order’s Motto: “Mercy and Truth.”

Rules for wearing the Devices of the Order:

Knights of the Order wear its Devices in the following way:

1. Knight Grand Cross of St Michael the Archangel (First Class) - a sash across the right shoulder with the Grand Cross and the Star of the Order

2. Knight Commander of St Michael the Archangel (Second Class) - the Cross of the Order worn at the neck suspended from a ribbon

3. Knight of St Michael the Archangel (Third Class) - the Cross of the Order suspended from a ribbon worn at the left breast

Dames of the Order wear its Devices in the following way:

1. Dames of the Grand Cross of St. Michael the Archangel (First Class) - a sash across the right shoulder with the Grand Cross and the Star of the Order

2. Dames Commander of St. Michael the Archangel (Second Class) – Cross of the Order suspended from a double bow above the left breast.

3. Dames of St. Michael the Archangel (Third Class) – the Cross of the Order suspended from a simple bow above the left breast.

Upon the award of the higher classes of the Order, Knights and Dames so promoted no longer wear the Device(s) of the lower classes. On less formal occasions, Knights and Dames of all classes are permitted to wear either the miniature Device or the rosette for the Order on the left lapel.

ARTICLE TWO: THE ASSOCIATION OF THE ORDER OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

1. To further the philanthropic objectives established by the Head of the Russian Imperial House for the Order of St. Michael the Archangel, the International Association of the Order of St. Michael the Archangel is hereby also established.

2. The Association of the Order of St. Michael the Archangel will be composed both of Knights and Dames of the Order, and of individuals who, although not admitted to membership of the Order, wish to support the charitable, philanthropic, cultural, and educational endeavors of the Russian Imperial House.

3. With respect to those members of the Association who have not been admitted to the Order, there will be two categories:

  • Members of the Association (the category for newly-appointed members) and
  • Officers of the Association (appointed after three years of active membership in the Association)

4. Members of the Association enjoy the right to wear a medal with a dark bronze version of the Cross of the Order, suspended from a ribbon of the Order’s colors. On the verso of the Cross will appear the monogram of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, the motto “Mercy and Truth” (on one line), and an inscription of the number of the medal. Members who have been elevated to the rank of Officer of the Association have a palm branch added to the ribbon of the medal.

5. Individuals may be admitted to the International Association of the Order of St. Michael the Archangel upon the written recommendation of two Knights or Dames of the Order of St. Michael the Archangel.

6. In recognition of the fact that members of the International Association of the Imperial Order of St. Michael reside in, and are citizens of, several different countries around the world, Her Imperial Highness has agreed to allow members of the International Association in each country to form themselves into a national association. Candidates for the position of president of each such national association must be approved by H.I.H.’s Chancellery. When national associations seek governmental registration, which is always to be done in full accordance with the current laws of the country in question, draft registration documents should be submitted in advance to H.I.H.’s Chancellery for review.

7. The International Association of the Imperial Order of St. Michael shall be governed by a Council composed of the presidents of each national association and of other councilors recommended by the presidents of the national associations. The Chairman of the Council shall be elected to that position by the members of the Council and confirmed by the Head of the Russian Imperial House through Her Chancellery. Presidents of national associations and councilors shall serve for a term of four years. The Statutes of the Council, and any proposed amendments made in the future to it, must be sent for review in advance to H.I.H.’s Chancellery.

The Council shall be responsible for ensuring that the Statutes of the International Association are being fulfilled by the International Association and by its national associations, will organize Congresses of the Association, will direct the activities of the national associations, will oversee the charitable and philanthropic endeavors of the International Association carried out under the auspices of the Order, and will carry out the collection of annual charitable contributions. The Council shall annually send a full report, signed by all its members, to the Head of the Russian Imperial House, via H.I.H.’s Chancellery, on the activities of the International Association, its national associations, and of prominent individual Knights and Dames of the Order, and of Members and Officers of the Association. The Council may also recommend to the Head of the Russian Imperial House the elevation of Knights and Dames of the Order to the next higher class, and the elevation of Officers of the Association to be invested as Knights and Dames (Third Class) of the Order. When organizing charitable and cultural events, the Council is to be guided by the directives of the Head of the Russian Imperial House. No less than 80 percent of the funds collected by the Association is to be directed to charity and philanthropy, or to the support of spiritual and cultural projects. No funds whatsoever may be disbursed without written instructions, or written permission, to do so from the Head of the Russian Imperial House.

This Decree has been approved by the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, in Madrid on November 8/21, 2012, the Feast Day of the Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers.

A.N. Zakatov
Director of H.I.H.’s. Chancellery