Where does your donation money go?

The Sovereign Imperial & Royal House of Ghassan is the dynastic, historical, legal, and cultural representative of the Royal Ghassanids and the Ghassanid people (in Arabic “Banu Ghassan” or “Al-Ghassassinah”). It comprises and represents all the dynasties ruled by Ghassanid Christian sovereigns from 220 CE until 1747 CE. The Muslim branch of the family ruled until 1921 CE the Principality of Jabal Shammar (Chemor) or Ha’il in today’s Saudi Arabia.

Since no longer ruling, the Royal House presently is a duly registered international, non-profit, apolitical, secular, cultural/educational, and charitable “umbrella organization” recognized and accredited by the United Nations since 2016 and by the Government of the Lebanese Republic since 2019, responsible for several affiliated organizations, fraternities, and initiatives with the specific purposes of the promotion of the historical and Cultural Arab heritage, especially but not limited to the Ghassanid people, the notorious Ghassanid’s ideals such as the broad cultural incentive, women’s equality, democracy, the promotion charity, and the chivalric ideals. Also the promotion and application of the principles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris.

Any non-profit organization needs donations to maintain its operational costs (office expenses, employees, websites, travel, etc.) Donations are also needed if the organization executes any cultural and humanitarian projects. The Royal House of Ghassan is a recognized tax-deductible organization in the United States under the Internal Revenue Code 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)

The Royal House of Ghassan is the “mother organization” of two other foundations:

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor, the head of the Royal House of Ghassan serves as chairman of the board of both organizations but they have their own independent board and CEOs. Regarding the One Voice Foundation, HIRH Prince Selim El Chemor, the Crow Prince of Ghassan and head of the Royal House in Lebanon is also part of the board participating actively in the daily activities.

The Royal House of Ghassan supports some of both foundations’ expenses.

Learn more about our activities

The Royal House also has the following initiatives:

  • One Voice for Christians” – to raise awareness of the genocide and exodus of Christian minorities in the Middle East. Since 2014, HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor has been traveling all over the world and meeting the highest political and religious leaders to advocate the cause of Middle Eastern Christians. The initiative gave birth to the One Voice Foundation. The ultimate goal of the “One Voice for Christians” initiative is the creation of the “MECC – Middle Eastern Christian Council” (or “OCC – Oriental Christian Council”) to strongly represent all denominations of Middle Eastern Christians as a major international political and diplomatic player, and the “MECC Observatory” to centralize all the information regarding persecuted Christians in the Middle East. The initiative produced two long-length documentaries and several videos with acclaimed scholars and leaders advocating for Christians in the Middle East,
  • Alliance for Peace” – to raise awareness about the urgent need for both Christian and Muslim leaders to peaceful cooperation in order to preserve Christian minorities in Muslim lands and fight “Islamophobia” in the west. Since 2014, HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor has been traveling all over the world and meeting the highest political and religious leaders to advocate the cause of peaceful cooperation between Christians and Muslims,
  • WE – The World Evolution” – presenting real solutions for major global problems, initially focusing on hunger, “green wealth”, and education

The Royal House has three “ex-novaeOrders of Merit and Chivalry, all legally chartered as an award under the NGO. Their objective is to raise money for the cultural and humanitarian projects of the Royal House of Ghassan:  

The Ghassanids are one of the first Christian knights in history but weren’t organized in orders ‘per se’. Therefore, although the Royal House of Ghassan has ancient authority as pioneers’ Christian knights it doesn’t claim any legatary connection with any historical order of chivalry or merit.

To become a Knight or Dame, one is required to make an initial donation known as a ‘Passage Fee’. Historically, it was the fee paid by each Knight to cover the cost of shipping his body home from the Holy Land in case of death in battle. Today, it is a voluntary donation in symbolic accordance with your rank and status in society. That’s customary in all orders of chivalry and merit. It’s a one-time donation. According to its constitution, the order also requires the payment of “annual dues”, currently established at a symbolic minimum of USD$20.80 a month. As in any fraternal organization, these sources of funds are crucial for the organization’s maintenance and projects.  Also, as in any fraternal organization, if one doesn’t pay dues, the consequence is the loss of “good standing” status.

If a proponent knight or dame wants to join the order but cannot afford the passage fee and/or the annual dues, this person may work for the organization in other ways like volunteering or recruiting new members. If for some reason, a knight or dame joins the order and, for some proven financial hardship, cannot afford the annual dues, the Chancellery should be notified immediately and the case is considered and the dues are forgiven. However, if the knight or dame doesn’t communicate to the Chancellery about the hardship simply ignoring the payment of the dues, according to the Order’s constitution, the knight or dame can be degraded losing their title and rank depending on the time passed. That’s also perfectly common to all orders of chivalry that have humanitarian projects and depend on donations to continue their work.

The Royal House of Ghassan also maintains the UNIMP – Universidade Imperial (Imperial University) offering high-level online courses on Monarchy and Geopolitics in Portuguese for less than $8 a month. Visit the website here https://unimp.org/

Here are some of the Humanitarian projects of the Royal House of Ghassan in recent years:

  • Advocacy of Religious Minorities in the United Nations

  • Donation of food for 500 families of Syrian refugees in the camps in Jordan

  • Donation of food for 40 families of Iraqi refugees in the Melkite Church in Jordan

  • Donation of tools to women artisans in Jordan to manufacture souvenirs

  • Donation of school bags to girls in need in Irbid, Nothern Jordan

  • Donation of school bags in Umm-Al-Jimmal, Northern Jordan

  • Donation of approx. USD$5,000 worth of equipment to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Amman, Jordan

  • Donation of food to a community in need in Brazil

  • Donation of food and Christmas gifts to orphans in Lebanon

  • Donation of food and Christmas gifts to elderly people in Lebanon

  • Donation of two years of Special Education Scholarship in Al-Karak, Jordan

  • Joint Venture with MedGlobal and Armenian Catholic Patriarchate for a medical mission in Lebanon

  • Donation of 60 tons of Special baby formula (approx. USD$500,000) to babies with nutritional problems in Lebanon (One Voice Foundation with Caritas France, Caritas Lebanon, and Novac Labs)

  • Donation for the construction of a Church for Egyptian Coptic Christian Refugees in Germany (Prinz Gharios Stiftung)

  • Diplomatic visits to several political and religious leaders all over the world

Here are some of the Cultural projects of the Royal House of Ghassan in recent years:

  • Production of the long-length documentary “The Christian Kings of the Middle east” (One Voice for Christians initiative)

  • Production of the long-length documentary “The Royal Legacy” (One Voice for Christians initiative)

  • Production of the short-length documentary “The Project” (One Voice for Christians initiative)

  • Production of the short-length documentary “IDC- In Defense of Christians” (One Voice for Christians initiative)

  • Production of several videos with acclaimed scholars and leaders advocating for Christians in the Middle East (One Voice for Christians initiative)

More videos at https://www.youtube.com/@theroyalherald/videos

  • Christmas Concert for the Middle Eastern Christians in the Vatican (Prinz Gharios Stiftung)

  • Anti-bullying campaign in public schools in Los Angeles, USA

  • An event in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Education, Lebanon (One Voice Foundation)

  • “Papo Real” – Monarchical YouTube channel “Royal chat”
More videos can be found at https://www.youtube.com/@paporeal

  • The “Critical Thinker” podcast

Here are only a few examples of where your donation money goes. There are many more.

If you have any questions about this matter, please do not hesitate in contacting us anytime at grandmarshal@royalghassan.org

Below, you may check our donations, campaigns, initiatives, and recent achievements organized by year:

Here are our 2022’s achievements https://royalblog.org/2022/12/31/a-2022s-retrospective/  

Here are our 2021’s achievements https://royalblog.org/2022/01/08/a-2021s-retrospective/  

Here are our 2020’s achievements https://royalblog.org/2021/01/03/a-2020s-retrospective/

Here are our 2019’s achievements https://royalblog.org/2020/01/01/a-2019s-retrospective/

Here are our 2018’s achievements https://royalblog.org/2018/12/18/a-2018s-retrospective/

Here are our 2017’s achievements https://royalblog.org/2017/12/31/a-2017s-retrospective/

Official Report by the Italian Heraldic Council on the Order of the Redeemer and the fake Duke of Tornano

Mr. Fabio Bevilacqua from Taranto, the fake Duke of Tornano

Many people assume titles of nobility just by having the same surname as the genuine nobles. Unfortunately (for them), today is very easy to have access to public records, official documents, etc.

Recently, Mr. Fabio Bevilacqua, a martial arts instructor, has been using the self-styled title of “Duke of Tornano” and also the “Grand Master” of the Order of the Redeemer. Both claims without showing a single document, except the fact that he is one of the 34,514 people in Italy with the Bevilacqua surname. Check the website HERE https://forebears.io/surnames/bevilacqua

Mr. Bevilacqua is proudly associated with the notorious Fake Prince of Montenegro that was arrested on several allegations.

Here are the news reports about the police activity

Police Hunt Fake Prince Who Met Pamela Anderson and Defrauded Restaurants https://www.newsweek.com/man-faked-being-montenegrin-prince-free-trips-meet-pamela-anderson-626006

Pamela Anderson among celebs fooled by fake Prince of Montenegro https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/celebrity/arid-30793944.html

Montenegrin President Seeks Probe After Fake Prince Attends State Event https://balkaninsight.com/2022/07/19/montenegrin-president-seeks-probe-after-fake-prince-attends-state-event/

Prince of Montenegro Stefan Cernetic is conman, say police https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4610320/Prince-Montenegro-Stefan-Cernetic-conman-say-police.html

Mr. Bevilacqua proudly exhibits his association with the infamous Prince of Montenegro
FAKE diplomatic passport

The problem is that both self-styled titles are notoriously the property of two families: The Bevilacqua-Ariosti from Bologna and the Gonzaga-Vescovato family of Mantua.

In order to have an official verdict on the matter, the Italian Heraldic Council has issued a complete report on the Order of the Redeemer and the title of Duke of Tornano, corroborating the aforementioned.

Here are some key parts of the Council’s conclusions:

The full official report can be accessed HERE

In a recent development, Mr. Fabio has accepted the conclusion from the report regarding the Bevilacqua-Ariosti Family of Bologna. Then, he now claims that he belongs to the Verona branch of the family (without showing any proof).

However, the genealogy of the Verona’s branch of the Bevilacqua family is known and public:

http://www.genmarenostrum.com/pagine-lettere/letterab/bevilacqua/BEVILACQUA2.htm  http://www.genmarenostrum.com/pagine-lettere/letterab/bevilacqua/BEVILACQUA3.htm

There are a few problems with his desperate “last minute” change of claims:

  1. By admitting he is not from the Bevilacqua-Ariosti Family he’s admitting not legally having the title of “Duke of Tornano since the title given to Guglielmo Bevilacqua by the Grand Duke of Tuscany was “Duke of Bevilacqua“, NOT “Duke of Tornano“,
  2. He would need to show the full genealogy of him being the senior in the male line from the branch of Verona,
  3. As proven above, the genealogy of Verona’s branch is public and it doesn’t show Mr. Fabio Giuseppe Bevilacqua from Taranto,
  4. The known public legal male heirs of Verona’s branch are (not in order of precedence): *. Count Antonio, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Verona 27-V-1933) *. CounOttavio, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Ravenna 15-I-1962) *. Count Ludovico Morando, Conte della Bevilacqua  (*Verona 12-IV-1997) *. Count Emanuele, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Ravenna 14-III-1964) *. Count Giorgio Ludovico, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Este 26-II-1968) *. Count Francesco Morando, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Verona 25-V-1940)

5. The noble lawful heirs of the Bevilacquas of Verona were born (surprisingly) in Verona! And in other surrounding cities in the North of Italy like Ravenna and Este, NOT A SINGLE FAMILY MEMBER WAS BORN IN TARANTO in the South,

6. Not all dukes are created the same. There are royal sovereign dukes that can award titles and knoghthoods, and there are noble dukes, that receive the honor from a sovereing ruler and CANNOT AWARD TITLES AND KNIGHTHOODS.

Various royal houses traditionally awarded (mainly) dukedoms to the sons and in some cases, the daughters, of their respective sovereigns; others include at least one dukedom in a wider list of similarly granted titles, nominal dukedoms without any actual authority, often even without an estate. Such titles are still conferred on royal princes or princesses in the current European monarchies of Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke

In Italy some important sovereign ducal families were the Visconti and the Sforza, who ruled Milan; the Savoy in Piedmont; the Medici of Florence; the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza; the Cybo-Malaspina of Massa; the Gonzaga of Mantua; the Este of Modena and Ferrarahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke

7. Duke Guglielmo Bevilacqua from Verona was a noble Duke, not a sovereign one! It’s notorious that he was created Duke by the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1851. Therefore, he had no Fons Honorum to create nobles and knights!

8. The title of Duke Guglielmo Bevilacqua was NOT hereditary. Titles of nobility can be “ad personam” being awarded only to the person, expiring wiht the person’s death. Or “ad perpetuam” or hereditary. NONE of the lawful heirs of the Duke Guglielmo ever used the title of Duke, using only the title of Count as proven demonstrating the public genealogy of the Bevilacquas of Verona http://www.genmarenostrum.com/pagine-lettere/letterab/bevilacqua/BEVILACQUA3.htm

Several books corroborate the aforementioned:


Muslim Ghassanids???

Map of the Kingdom of Jordan showing the city of Karak, home of several Ghassanid Muslim families

The Muslim sacred texts mention that Prophet Mohammad sent letters to all the major Kings in the Middle East inviting them to embrace Islam. Amongst others, these included the Negus of Axum, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius (r. 610–641), the Muqawqis of Egypt, and the Sasanid emperor Khosrau II (r. 590–628). 

This tradition mentions a letter to the Ghassanid King Al-Harith Ibn Abu Chemor V (ruled 529-569 AD). The way that the Prophet addresses the Ghassanid King is very interesting. He calls him “The King of Damascus“. That was the capital of the region called by Arabs ash-Shām “north country, the Levant” in contrast to al-Yaman “south country, the Yemen“. The mere fact that the Founder of Islam wrote a letter to the Ghassanid King shows his importance and status at the time. Many scholars call the Ghassanid Kingdom a “vassal State” of the Byzantine empire in a derogatory way, implying inferiority. As aforementioned, he also sent a letter to Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. Obviously, if the Ghassanids had no sovereignty and were subordinated to the Byzantine empire there would be no need to write the Ghassanid King since writing the Byzantine emperor would suffice.

Here is the letter’s content, according to the Islamic tradition:

A Letter to Harith bin Abu Chemor Al-­Ghassani, King of Damascus

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most. Merciful.

From Muhammad, Messenger of Allah to Al-Harith bin Abu Chemor

Peace be upon him who follows true guidance, believes in it, and regards it as true. I invite you to believe in Allah Alone with no associate, thence after your kingdom will remain yours ...

Shuja’ bin Wahab had the honor of taking the letter to Al-Harith, who upon hearing the letter read in his audience, was madly infuriated and uttered: “Who dares to dispose me of my country, I’ll fight him (the Prophet),” and arrogantly rejected the Prophet’s invitation to the fold of I lam. [Za’d AI-Ma’ad 3/62; Muhadarat Tareekh AI-Umam Al­lslamiyah 1 /146]

The fact that King Al-Harith refused to convert to Islam started a chain of events that ended up with the fall of the First Ghassanid State in 638 CE. King Jabalah and the Royal Family were evacuated going to Mount Lebanon and Anatolia (today’s Turkey but back then part of the Byzantine empire). However, many Ghassanids remained in the region under the First Islamic Caliphate and due to several factors like the payment of the Jiziya tax (for Non-Muslims), slowly many ended up converting to the new faith.

History would repeat itself with the Ottoman persecution of the Ghassanid Christian principalities in Northern Mount Lebanon starting in the 18th century until the exodus to the Americas at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th (WWI).

Descent from the Royal Ghassanids was an honour to be claimed by many Christians as was the honour for Muslims in claiming descent from Quraysh, the tribe of the Prophet [Muhammad].”Professor Doctor Yasmine Zahran, “Ghassan Resurrected”, 2006, p.149

Although the Ghassanid Dynasty was always a synonym for Christian resistance to Muslim regimes many Ghassanid Muslim families proudly kept their Ghassanid identity until today, like in the city of Karak, Jordan. Another good example is the Muslim Al-Ghassani family of the Sultanate of Oman.

Today, approximately 30% of the Ghassanid’s world population (estimated at 15 million people) is Muslim.

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor receiving an award for sponsoring a scholarship for Special Education, with the President of the “Association of Ghasanid Women”, Mrs. Zahria Al-Soub in the city of Karak, Jordan in 2016

The Christian tradition was so important to the Ghassanids that there was a royal decree forbidding Ghassanids to marry non-Chrsitians.

“While Ghassanid Christians clung to their identity as a minority and were interbed because of the prohibition of marriage with non-Christians..” Professor Doctor Yasmine Zahran, “Ghassan Resurrected”, 2006, p.149

Knowing that fact, HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII, head of the Royal House of Ghassan, had the ancient decree symbolically revoked in 2014 in the advent of his official visit to the Grand Mufti of Jordan, the highest Islamic authority in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor in an official audience with the Grand Mufti of Jordan in 2014

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor with the Grand Mufti of Jordan in 2014 symbolically revoking the ancient decree that forbade Ghassanids from marrying non-Christians
HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor with the Grand Mufti of Jordan in 2014 and the highest Jordanian Muslim clerics

An official statement by HIRH The Sovereign Prince of Ghassan

Unfortunately, from time to time, we have to clarify facts that have never changed but people seem to fabricate their own reality these days.

  1. I am proudly born and raised in Brazil in exile under the name “AHNUME GUERIOS” (the Portuguese transliteration of “ALNUMAN GHARIOS” or in Arabic النعمان غاريوس) My name has never changed, only the spelling since I moved to the United States. The Portuguese transliteration would be read by native English speakers in a completely different way. I only legally added the titles and our original last name “EL CHEMOR” (also written ACH-CHMORR, SHAMMAR, SHAMIR or SHUMMAR in Arabic الشمرّ) since “GHARIOS” is originally a given name (not a surname) meaning “GREGORY” in Aramaic, the mother tongue of Jesus Christ. History tells us that when my ancestor and last Ghassanid Christian ruler HIRH Prince Sheikh Youssef El Chemor was killed by the Ottoman empire, his sons had to flee the Zgharta-Zewye region (today’s northern Lebanon) and changed their names not to be killed. HIRH Prince Sheikh Gharios Youssef El Chemor had a son named HIRH Prince Sheikh Antoun and instead of naming him with the last name EL CHEMOR he decided to name him with the surname “GHARIOS”. That’s well documented. The other brothers FARHAT, and HOBBEIKA did the exact same with their sons and daughters, afraid of being killed. I mention my name and origins on all of my websites and social media as well as during my interviews, https://royalblog.org/2018/08/08/encyclopedia-of-maronite-families-confirms-the-sheikhs-el-chemors-chronicles-and-makes-a-surprising-statement/
  2. Fast forward to WWI, my family had to leave the region due to the persecution by the Ottoman empire to all the Christians. That fact made hundreds of thousands of Syrian Lebanese migrate to Brazil to escape the Ottoman empire. According to official data, there are more Lebanese living in Brazil (approx. 7-8 million) than in Lebanon (approx. 4 million). Brazil even recently had a president of Lebanese descent, His Excellency Dr. Michel Temer,   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_Brazilians
  3. Our internationally recognized titles are “Prince of Ghassan” and/or “Prince of the Ghassanids”. Although my ancestors ruled as sovereign parts of Northern Lebanon (Al-Akhoura and Zghartha-Zewiye) until the 18th century. We never claimed to be “Princes of Lebanon”. The only family that can use the title “Prince of (Mount) Lebanon” is the Chehab family (also Shihab, Shehab, etc. in Arabic الشهابي), our cousins by marriage. Country names like Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, etc. are from the 20th century, after WWI and WWII. When my direct family left today’s Lebanon, the country was an Ottoman province, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shihab_dynasty
  4. The process of adding the titles legally to my name was analyzed by 3 judges in Brazil and 2 in the United States and was executed under the terms of the international treaty known as the 1958 NY Convention, recognized by 172 nations,
  5. Although we claim to be some of the first Christian knights in history (almost five centuries before the first crusade) We do not claim any historical order of chivalry since it’s well documented that the Ghassanid knights had all the elements of European Chivalry, but they didn’t organize themselves in orders ‘per se’, they just used to fight under the banner of Jesus Christ, our patron Saint Sergius (Serkis), Michael Archangel, and other angels, https://royalblog.org/2016/12/15/ghassanids-some-of-the-first-christian-knights-in-history/
  6.  I still recommend people watch our documentaries to understand the history of the Middle East, something so ignored in the West for so many years.

The Christian Kings of the Middle East

The Royal Legacy

March 20th, 2023

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII

Head of the Sovereign Imperial and Royal House of Ghassan

The Royal Herald releases its first podcast: “the Critical Thinker”

One thing we all agree: we’ve too many podcasts today. However, rarely a podcast has an unbiased and educated opinion. Currently, people are “dancing” between two extremes and hating each other. The Critical Thinker podcast comes to shed a light on the “Sovereign perspective” which means having the mindset of the kings and queens, looking to things without preconceived judgments and exaggerated passions. Hosted by HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor and the actor/writer Pepper Jensen, the Critical Thinker comes as an impartial alternative to a polarized world.

The Critical Thinker can be watched at the Royal Herald channels on YouTube and Rumble

Misunderstandings about the legal bestowal of honors (“Fons Honorum”)

We often come across a plethora of articles and postings of baseless statements with respect to dynastic law. Apparently, anyone thinks they can determine who’s real and who’s not. Usually, it’s people with absolutely no knowledge or credentials about the subject, just a popular social media account.

But sometimes even people with apparent credentials and pompous academic titles make absurd nonsensical statements.

Let’s establish something very important. The best orthopedic doctor in the world is not fit to perform brain surgeries just because he’s a doctor. The fact that one is a historian with a doctorate, or a lawyer doesn’t make this individual automatically an expert in dynastic laws of succession. In the same manner, an expert in European laws of succession is not, ipso facto, an expert in African laws of succession, and so on.

Many questions arise since the bonafide sources of information are very rare. We will try to answer some of them here.

Can a deposed sovereign and/or the heirs keep the titles legally after the deposition? If yes, how long?

First of all, there’s no such hermetic code of international law. The jurisprudence recognizes the existence of “governments-in-exile” of the deposed monarchs as hereditary by the “jus sanguinis” (law of blood) “ad aeternum” and “ad perpetuam”. In other words, as long as there’s blood it’s forever unless all the lawful heirs expressly abdicate their rights. That abdication must be done by an express legal instrument without any vice like ignorance through deception, fraud, undue influence, duress, threat, or some other unlawful means, etc. Then, all the rights are forfeited.

Another problem is the lack of competent courts to rule over claims. In the case of deposed monarchies, we cannot expect current republican courts to be fair to rule over past kingdoms’ issues, for obvious reasons of conflicted rights. It’d be the same as having someone from one of the teams of a match serve as the referee.

The closest to a competent court to rule over such claims would be the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, however, its statutes of 1945 are very clear:

Chapter II

The Court’s Competence

Article 34

1. Only States may be parties before the Court.”

So, a priori, no personal claim can be examined or judged by the International Court of Justice of the United Nations.

International Court of Justice of the United Nations

The deposed monarch’s sovereignty does not depend on territory, people, politics, etc. To understand it fully, it’s necessary to comprehend all the sovereign rights and powers:

Ius Imperii” – the right to command and rule a territory;

Ius Gladii” – the right to impose obedience through command and also control armies;

Ius Majestatis” – the right to be honored and respected according to your title;

Ius Conferendi” or “Ius Honorum” – the right to award titles based on merit and virtue.

There’s a simplistic way to explain a complex process. There are “two kinds” of sovereignty related to “Ius Imperii” and “Ius Gladii” – one called “de facto” (by fact) and the other “de jure” (by right). Both need to be attached to a territory and a people (in other words, a State). A “third sovereignty” is related to the other two rights “Ius Majestatis” and “Ius Honorum“, and it is related to a dynasty and a family and not dependent on a State.

Regular courts can analyze claims regarding “Ius Majestatis” and “Ius Honorum” since their existence falls into the category of “immaterial inheritance”. However, those courts cannot decide over “Ius Imperii” and “Ius Gladii“, especially if those courts are based on a territory previously ruled by the sovereign family in question since that would fall on the aforementioned case of conflicted rights.

Is there any organization or “commission” with legal powers to recognize sovereign claims and/or orders of chivalry?

No. But before explaining why, we would like to state, that we believe that many of those “commissions” have good intentions and very serious and respectable members. Our disagreement is in the field of ideas. We even applaud the initiative of bringing more ethics and scholarship to the world of the orders of chivalry.

There’s no so-called “official” legal organization to recognize royal or noble claims. All of the “commissions” are mere independent associations with no legal authority.

Again, International Law recognizes the idea of a “government-in-exile” but doesn’t codify any kind of clear rules for its existence. Hence, nobody can say with absolute authority that this or that claim is germane or not. According to international law, to accredit a claim, governments, ruling sovereigns, and heads of traditional churches, may recognize it with value. But, in the same way, the lack of any recognition doesn’t mean, necessarily, a false claim. Scholars can be the most trustworthy source of appraisal, but even they cannot state anything as decisive.

Some commissions try to convince naïve people that they can recognize or accredit titles of Nobility or from Orders of Chivalry.

Only the lender Sovereign House can do such a thing. If a title or knighthood was granted by the House of Bourbon, for example, only the current Head of the House of Bourbon can ultimately decide if the title or knighthood is valid or not. All titles and honors belong to the lender House. It’s their immaterial patrimony and therefore only the lender House in fact can decide the validity of such titles. Without a doubt, in reigning monarchies, there are special courts to rule over such claims, but those courts would decide based on the authority granted by the Sovereign House that bestowed the titles.

What about the criteria that some so-called “commissions” establish for recognition?

Well, any private organization has the right to create any criteria it deems valid since their recognition has no legal value, it’s a mere opinion. However, if we inquire about the actual legal and logical sense for that criteria we fall into some antinomies and contradictions. For example, one commission establishes that:

“1. Every independent State has the right to create its own Orders or Decorations of Merit and lay down, at will, their particular rules. But it must be made clear that only the higher degrees of these modern State Orders can be deemed of knightly rank, provided they are conferred by the Crown or by the “pro tempore” ruler of some traditional State.”

Well, if they can “lay down, at will, their particular rules” and you’re stating that “only the higher degrees can be deemed of knightly rank” it’s not only contradictory but it’s a direct interference on an independent State’s sovereignty.

Let’s hypothetically imagine a member of the parliament of a republic proposing a law that creates a new order of chivalry and all its ranks are knightly ones. The law it’s approved by the parliament and goes to the head-of-State to be sanctioned. Theoretically, the head-of-State is the legal embodiment of the “Fons Honorum”. By signing the law, “ipso facto” that order exists legally according to international law, and no “commission” in the world can deny it!

Let’s imagine that the law that created the order determines that the mayors of the country’s capitals will confer the ranks, not the head-of-State. When the head-of-State signs the law, he’s granting the “Jus Conferendi” to the mayors and the order is still legally valid. It’s the same as the sovereign delegating to a prince the accolade of a knighting ceremony. The bestowal is by the sovereign, but he/she can perfectly delegate even the appointments. The same happens in Papal orders. The honor is given by the Pope’s authority but can be suggested or recommended by a cardinal or a patriarch or even a bishop. Usually, the Pope doesn’t even know who was invested since he appoints a cardinal surrogate to perform the investitures.

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor being invested in the Papal Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem in 2014 by His Beatitude Fouad Twal, the Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem and former Grand Prior of the Order

“2. The Dynastic (or Family or House) Orders which belong jure sanguinis to a Sovereign House (that is to those ruling or ex-ruling Houses whose sovereign rank was internationally recognised at the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1814 or later) retain their full historical chivalric, nobiliary and social validity, notwithstanding all political changes. It is therefore considered ultra vires of any republican State to interfere, by legislation or administrative practice, with the Princely Dynastic Family or House Orders. That they may not be officially recognised by the new government does not affect their traditional validity or their accepted status in international heraldic, chivalric and nobiliary circles.

The aforementioned has absolutely no base on any principle of international law ever written.

According to the former president of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (the highest court in Italy) Professor Doctor Renato de Francesco in 1959:

… It’s simply ridiculous, from a legal point of view, the distinction intended to be done about Dynasties that have reigned until recently of those who ruled in the distant past. It’s not understandable how you can launch at the foot of numerous pages of history, only to give luster to this or that family, who, aided by good luck, has managed to remain on the throne, after the year 1815. A dynasty either reigned or not reigned. If reigned, even in a very remote time, deserves the historical and legal treatment as a dynasty and all its effects.”

In fact, Prof. V. Powell-Smith writes (“The Criteria for Assessing the Validity of Orders of Chivalry” in “Nobilitas“, Malta, 1970):

… There is no valid reason, legal or other, to limit sovereign status in such a way by reference to 1814 or any date at all. The Congress of Vienna merely affected the settlement of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars, and nothing more. There have been changes in the political structure of Europe have occurred since 1814 (as well as before) as, for example, the establishment of the Balkan kingdoms and the unification of Italy. The sovereigns of those kingdoms which ceased to exist before the Congress of Vienna acted as fons honorum during their reigns and will continue to exercise sovereign rights thereafter. The purpose of the Congress of Vienna was to reorganize the territorial boundaries of European states. Certain states, the existence of which had been effectively terminated the by Napoleonic settlement were not re-established but were integrated into larger units, the sovereign princes willingly accepting such an arrangement which retained their rights as princes but removed their former territorial rights. The rights of fons honorum not represented or discussed at the Congress (because they had no interest in its decisions which related to de facto territorial adjustments) could not have been affected by what was decided at the Congress or later arguments ex silentio on the question.”

The Congress of Vienna 1814-15


“3. It is generally admitted by jurists that such ex-sovereigns who have not abdicated have positions different from those of pretenders and that in their lifetime they retain their full rights as “fons honorum” in respect even of those Orders of which they remain Grand Masters which would be classed, otherwise, as State and Merit Orders.”

Another legal antinomy. You can either accept that the heirs of deposed sovereigns inherit the “Fons Honorum”, or not. They state that a lawful heir from a deposed monarch doesn’t have the power to create new orders of chivalry or merit. The prince pretender has only the right of keeping the orders created by the ancestor while ruling. That creates a legal paradox since this process is not created “by magic”, the sovereign rights of “Jus Majestatis” and “Jus Conferendi” (“Fons Honorum”) are passed to the lawful heir by blood (“Jus Sanguinis”), as aforementioned, these rights are not dependent on a State (as “Jus Imperii” and “Jus Gladii” are) and that’s why they can continue with the lawful heirs. If “magically” only the valid orders were the ones created while in power, the sovereignty and the “Fons Honorum” would reside on the juridical person of the organization (order), not on the sovereign blood! It’s the same thing as your grandfather leaving you a house as an inheritance and someone with no legal authority tells you that you can only live there from Monday to Thursday.

Either the “Fons Honorum” passes by blood or not! The lawful heir or prince pretender of a deposed dynasty exercises his “Fons Honorum” every time a knight is invested. That has nothing to do legally with the date that the order was created and if the if it was created during the reign or not!

The only thing here vaguely based on some tradition is the fact that the lawful heir of a deposed sovereign usually doesn’t use the regnal title like “king” or “emperor”, he commonly uses the title of “prince” or “duke”. Or, he can write “De Jure” (“By right”) King of … after his name and princely title. That tradition is more common in Europe, some African monarchies crown their sovereigns even in exile.

According to the late Professor Dr. W. Baroni Santos, Doctor D’état (post-doctorate/habilitation) from the University of Reims in France in his book, “Treaty of Heraldry and Nobility Law” Volume II page 52 wrote:

“Neither the elapsed time, even for centuries, nor nonuse of the acts of sovereignty exercised by the Prince Pretender, Head of Name and Arms of his house, maybe derogated, prescribed, or canceled. He/she retains these rights until the end of times ‘ad perpetuam rex tenendam’ which are inserted in the person of Prince Pretender.”

Such principles are confirmed by the opinions of famous jurists, such as Dr. Ercole Tanturri, once the First President of the Court of Cassation [the highest court in Italy], who was joined by Prof. Leonardo Puglionisi, Professor of canon law at the University of Rome, and Dr. Raimondo Jannitti-Piromallo, Section President of the Court of Cassation (Journal of Heraldic and Genealogy n. 7-12 Dec. 1954) who also writes:

The sovereignty is a perpetual quality, indelibly connected and linked, in the centuries to the whole descendancy of the one who first conquered or claimed it, and fulfills itself in the physical person of the Chief of Name and Arms of the dynasty, independent from any other consideration or inquiry of political, juridical, moral or social nature which might be made about him, and which, as history teaches, can’t influence its sovereign quality.”

Here is an extract from the book “Studies on Nobility Law” (Estudos sobre Direito Nobiliário), by Dr. Mario Silvestre de Meroe, pg. 65:

It is worth mentioning also that the princely families, with the sovereign attributes, require no recognition by the government of their country of origin, or submit any record in countries where its members settle in residence. The dynastic and political independence is based on Sovereignty itself, which guides their social existence and regardless of any legal recognition, with respect to dynastic and private affairs. “

Professor Emilio Furno, an advocate in the Supreme Court of Appeal, writes as follows “The Legitimacy of Non-National Orders”, Rivista Penale, No.1, January 1961, pp. 46-70:

The qualities which render a deposed sovereign subject of international law are undeniable and in fact constitute an absolute personal right of which the subject may never divest himself and which needs no ratification or recognition on the part of any other authority whatsoever. A reigning sovereign or head of State may use the term recognition in order to demonstrate the existence of such a right, but the term would be a mere declaration and not a constitutive act.” (Furno, op.cit.)

A notable example of this principle is that of the People’s Republic of China which for a considerable time was not recognized and therefore not admitted to the United Nations, but which nonetheless continued to exercise its functions as a sovereign state through both its internal and external organs.” (Furno, op.cit.)


“5. The recognition of Orders by States or supranational organisations which themselves do not have chivalric orders of their own, and in whose Constitutions no provisions are made for the recognition of knightly and nobiliary institutions, cannot be accepted as constituting validation by sovereignties, since these particular sovereignties have renounced the exercise of heraldic jurisdiction. The international “status” of an Order of Knighthood rests, in fact, on the rights of fons honorum, which, according to tradition, must belong to the Authority by which this particular Order is granted, protected or recognised.

Again a vain attempt to limit a State’s sovereignty. By international law, there’s the principle of sovereign equality between monarchies and republics, large and small States. Although in practice the most powerful countries have more leverage on the international stage, legally they’re all the same.

Looking back to item number 1 the commission states that:

1. Every independent State has the right to create its own Orders or Decorations of Merit and lay down, at will, their particular rules. But it must be made clear that only the higher degrees of these modern State Orders can be deemed of knightly rank, provided they are conferred by the Crown or by the “pro tempore” ruler of some traditional State.”

Another legal antinomy: if the State has the right to create its own Orders and the “pro temporeruler of some traditional State” can confer a knightly rank, one cannot limit the power of the head-of-State (“Fons Honorum”) to recognize an order or a title.

Even if a particular sovereignty “have renounced the exercise of heraldic jurisdiction” it can perfectly and lawfully, either by creating a new order or recognizing another one, “ipso facto” restore the heraldic jurisdiction, unless specifically and expressly forbidden in the country’s constitution.

If a sovereign State has the power of withdrawing from international treaties with no need of a valid reason (see. Russia recently withdrawing from the 1968’s NPT – Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons) the impossibility of the restoration of the heraldic jurisdiction – an integral State’s prerogative being a domestic issue – it’s a complete absurd!

By all the above, we can conclude that, if we agree on the fact that the “Jus Conferendi” (“Fons Honorum”) is passed by blood (“Jus Sanguinis”) there’s no valid reason in international law to limit it in any way, shape, or form, its powers without gravely violating the “De Jure” rights of a Deposed Dynasty.

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Ghassanids: The only Imperial Arab Dynasty in history

Several interesting facts about the Ghassanid Dynasty show the importance of the only Imperial Arab dynasty in history.

To a lack of comprehensive knowledge of the Byzantine and Ghassanid history, some historians create confusion about the actual role of the Ghassanids and their alliance with Byzantium. They pejoratively call Ghassan “client-state” or “vassal” without even explaining what that really meant in the context of the 6th and 7th centuries.

“And though the Ghassanid King was the head of what we would today call a client state, he and the [Byzantine] Emperor met on EQUAL FOOTING – as comrades in arms  – discussing matters of earthshaking and less-than-earthshaking importance.” (Gene Gurney, “Kingdoms of Asia, the Middle East and Africa”, 1986, p.70)

His Majesty, King Al-Harith VI (Arethas in Greek sources) started a tradition for Ghassanid rulers with several imperial titles in addition to the Royal one awarded by his own people:

Basileus” – Emperor/High King of All Arabs,

Patrician – Highest Byzantine honor in the 6th century, given only to 3 foreign rulers, King Al-Harith VI being one of them,

Archphylarch”- Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Foederati (Federate Arab Armies)

We have to separate the role of “Archphylarc” of the Byzantine Federation and the title “Basileus Araves” (Emperor or High King of All Arabs) given by Emperor Justinian in 529 CE from the actual Kingship over the people of Ghassan, which the scholars have agreed, were not Roman (Byzantine) citizens.

“The dignity of King in Procopius had been sharply differentiated from the “Supreme Phylarchate” (archyphilarchia), with which Arethas was endowed “(Irfan Shahîd, Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, vol. 1, 1995, p. 103).

“The title awarded to the Ghassanid Ruler or Chief BY HIS OWN PEOPLE was neither Patricius nor Phylarch but KING (AL-MALIK).  The title, established BEYOND DOUBT by Procopius is confirmed by the contemporary poetry of Hassan and of later poets who continued this authentic tradition, But the strongest evidence is supplied by contemporary epigraphy — the Usays Inscription  carved by one of [King] Arethas commanders, Ibn Al-Mughira, who refers to him around A.D. 530 as Al-Malik, the King.  There is also no doubt that the Ghassanid Arethas was dressed as a King on important occasions in Ghassanland, since the poet laureate of later times underscores his own eminent position among his Ghassanid patrons by nothing that he used to sit not far from their crowned head.” (Irfan Shahîd, Byzantium and the Arabs in the sixth century, Volume 2 part 2 pg.164)

“The patriciate, not an office, but a dignity, and the highest that Byzantium could bestow, was conferred on the Ghassanid Arethas. “ Irfan Shahîd, Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, vol. 1, 1995, p. 293)

“This highest Byzantine dignity (Patriciate) was conferred on a number of Romans.  Its attribution to non-Romans – barbarians, princes and kings – was rare, and most of these cases belonged to the Roman West, occupied by the Germanic princes.  In the East it was much rarer; only three are named, and Arethas is one of them.  So the patriciate of Arethas was indeed a rare honor, the bestowal of which was also eloquent of the relationship existing between Justinian and Arethas.  This is especially so because the patrician was often referred to as “the emperor’s father” (pater augusti) and the emperor often addressed the patrician as “my father”.  Thus, if one dignity or title of the many that Arethas held, reflects the special relationship between Justinian and Arethas, it is the patriciate.  Its conferment reflects the Byzantium’s absolute confidence in the loyalty and worth of the Arab king, just as its assumption of the imperial gentilicium, Flavius, reflected its own sense of loyalty to the imperial family that carried the nomen gentile of the Second Flavians.” (Ibid p.294)

Ghassanid Kings had a plethora of other imperial titles like: “Clarissimus”, “Philochristos” (“Christ loving”), “Pius” and the imperial gentiliciumFlavius”. (See Ibid. p.295)

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