Noble Order of Westarctica
The Noble Order of Westarctica was the first Order of Chivalry created by Grand Duke Travis. It was created to recognize exceptional leadership qualities in foreign Heads of State, but the criteria was later expanded to include any leader with a noble title.
Creation of the Order
Although the Noble Order of Westarctica was the highest honor listed in the 17 March 2005 Royal Decree Revising the Orders of Westarctica which dealt with the four original Orders of Chivalry in Westarctica, it first came into use around the time the Grand Ducal Mandate was decreed. The section of the March 2005 decree on the Noble Order read:
This Noble Order is designed to recognize exceptional leadership characteristics in foreign Heads of State. There is one class, Knight. The regalia for this Order is a blue sash (or riband) worn across the right shoulder to the left-side waist.
Hereditary nature of the Order
The Noble Order of Westarctica is the only Order of Chivalry that is hereditary in nature. When the holder of the knighthood, even an honorary knighthood, dies, the honor is bestowed upon their heir. In most cases, as the order is only bestowed upon nobles or international Heads of State, whichever of their heirs assumes the throne or title becomes the new bearer of of Westarctica's knighthood as well.
It's important to note that in the case of abdications, a knight does not lose their knighthood merely because they are longer upon the throne. In the cases of monarchs who have abdicated, but are still living (King Juan Carlos, Queen Beatrix, King Gyanendra, King Albert, and King James), they retain their honorary knighthood until their death.
The first inheritance of a knighthood in the Noble Order of Westarctica occurred upon the death of Prince Rainier III of Monaco on 6 April 2005. His Serene Highness's honorary knighthood, which had been bestowed less than a year prior, passed to his son, Prince Albert II, who still holds it to this day.
Knights of the Order
The first knighthoods in the order were bestowed through the mail upon twelve reigning monarchs on 20 November 2004. As these were foreign leaders, the knighthoods were only honorary.
On 7 March 2005, honorary knighthoods were bestowed upon the exiled heirs of the Imperial thrones of Iran and Ethiopia. Due to an oversight in researching the Ethiopian Imperial bloodline, the knighthood was wrongly bestowed upon Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, a cousin of the actual Emperor-in-exile. This oversight was corrected on 30 May 2018 when His Imperial Highness was stripped of the honor.
List of Knights
This list is current as of 16 March 2020
|Name||Year of appointment||Previous Holder(s) of Knighthood||Notes|
|Grand Duke Travis of Westarctica||2004||Sovereign of the Order|
|Queen Elizabeth II of England||2004|
|Queen Margrethe II of Denmark||2004|
|King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden||2004|
|King Juan Carlos I of Spain||2004||Abdicated in 2014|
|Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands||2004||Abdicated in 2013|
|King Harald V of Norway||2004|
|King Albert II of Belgium||2004||Abdicated in 2013|
|King Gyanendra of Nepal||2004||Monarchy abolished in 2008|
|King Letsie III of Lesotho||2004|
|Prince Reza Pahlavi of Iran||2005||Royal in exile. Monarchy overthrown in 1979|
|Prince Albert II of Monaco||2005||Rainier III (2004-2005)||First heir to inherit a knighthood|
|Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg||2005|
|President Kevin Baugh of Molossia||2005||Only non-royal member|
|King Tupou VI of Tonga||2012||Tupou IV (2004-2006), Tupou V (2006-2012)|