Candidature for the Office of Grand Master of the Order of Saint Lazarus

The New Zealand Grand Priory seconded and supports the appointment of His Royal Highness Charles Philippe de Bourbon-Orléans for the office of Grand Master of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus. The following is a brief overview of our candidate:

HRH Prince Michel of France writes in support of his son, His Royal Highness Charles Philippe de Bourbon-Orléans

Paris le 30 juillet 2003

A tous les chefs de Prieuré de l'Ordre de Saint Lazare de Jérusalem


Suite à plusieurs entretiens entre le Comte Piccapietra et moi-même, nous avons pensé que, le Duc de Brissac se retirant en laissant vacant son poste de Grand Maître de I'Ordre de Saint Lazare de Jérusalem, il serait bon que cette charge soit reprise par mon fils, le Prince Charles-Philippe, qui serait heureux de l'accepter afin servir la noble cause de l'Ordre. Il n'est certes pas Chevalier de l'Ordre, ceci n'étant pas un problème, ayant droit de rentrer dans l'Ordre en tant que membre de la famille Royale.

Messieurs, je vous fais confiance, car vous saurez désigner le nouveau Grand Maître, comme anciennement au moyen-âge, les prétendantes à un siège de responsibilité, bien que désignés par leur sang, étaient élus par leurs pairs, comme les premiers Rois de France dont nous descendons.

Je vous prie de croire, Messieurs, à l'expression de ma haute considération.

/s/ Michel Prince de France

Prince Michel recommends his son to fill the post vacated by the retirement of the Duc de Brissac. "It would be fitting if this duty were filled by my son, the Prince Charles-Philippe, who would be happy to accept in order to serve the noble cause of the Order. He is, certainly, not now a member, but that is not a problem, he having the right of membership on account of being a member of the Royal Family.

I assure you, Gentlemen, if you were to designate the new Grand Master as it was done anciently, in the Middle Ages; although eligible by their blood, they were elected by their peers, as were the first Kings of France, from whom we descend."

Prince of Bourbon-Orléans, Petit-fils of France (His Royal Highness)

Born: XVe arr. Paris, 2 March 1973

Parents: Michel Comte d'Evreux (b1941) m 1971 Béatrice Pasquier de Franclieu (b 1941) (separated)

Brother: François (1982)

Sisters: Clotilde (1968)

Adélaïde (1968)

Marital Status: Bachelor

Age: 30


His Royal Highness Charles Philippe de Bourbon-Orléans
30 years old; bachelor; nationality-French

The Crown and the office of Grand Master
Address by HRH Prince Charles-Philippe at the Celles-les-Borde meeting

Grand Master

Your Excellencies

Distinguished guests

Confrères and Consoeurs

I am eager to express my gratitude for the great support I have been honoured to receive from many of you since I was nominated as a candidate to serve the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem.

I am aware of your extensive charitable activities worldwide, for which I hold the Order in admiration. I also admire the magnificent heritage, which the Order as a Christian organisation has preserved down the ages.

That is why I seek to join and work for the Order and, if you are willing, it would be my great privilege to lend you my support.

I have greeted you as confrères, well aware that as yet I have not even been admitted to your community!


Being my father’s son, a Prince of France, I have a particular affinity with your motto ‘Atavis et Armis’: valour in the spirit of our forefathers. This motto strikes a very personal chord with me, in harmony with the Order and its ideals.

Your Excellencies…

How can I summarise for you in but a few words who I am, what I stand for, and more importantly, what my visions and ambitions are? This evening I stand before you for the first time. Please allow me to share some personal reflections. My path to meet you at this point has been short, but the journey we shall undertake together will be a long one! Historically, it is the path, which numerous ancestors of mine have taken before me. This path makes us gather up and carry with us everything we consider just and important, to nourish it and make it flourish, until eventually we can confidently hand it on to our successors.

Much could be said about what it really means to be a Knight. For my part, I am convinced that the key to its value lies in ideals such as these. I use the term ‘ideals’ advisedly – notions which are intangible yet none-theless real. I am driven by ideals and daily strive to attain them. I do not imagine that becoming a Knight automatically leads to perfection; rather it reinforces one’s lifelong quest for ideals and helps one integrate them effectively as daily goals. In line with our Christian convictions, chivalry must be primarily at the service of faith; that is to say, the desire for knowledge and understanding, and the desire for unity – in our Order and in the world. This same faith shows me the way to sincerity, and to the utter selflessness of knightly service in all its forms, which leads in turn to true chivalry.

    That is why a Knight is simultaneously the incarnation of:

  • A soldier

  • An advocate

  • A judge

  • A philosopher and a good Samaritan.

Speaking personally, and surely also for the Knights and Dames of the Order of St Lazarus, a sense of honour in one’s commitment to the daily effort to live up to one’s ideals and to serve the poor is a reflection of our respect for God and for man made in his image. Chivalric virtues and high principles – such as self-esteem and, through trust in God, daring to do great deeds – combined with personal courage, which is fundamentally a matter of overcoming our doubts and fears day by day, or rather, following the dictates of our conscience to set them aside… these virtues become the mental spurs which impel us to act.

Your Excellencies…

If, as we sit here, we recall and acknowledge all that the members of the Order of St Lazarus achieve, it becomes clear to us that there is nothing superficial about the symbols, ceremonies and celebrations of Nobility which bind us to the Order! We experience with our friends the true essence and source of our Order, which lie deep within it…Your traditions, customs and conventions are but a reflection of that explicit expression of depth.

Nobility is expressed in words and deeds. True Nobility lies within our hearts. Nobility is not just a question of lineage – I am the first to admit…Nobility comes from the heart! That is why I should like to share a personal opinion with you. All of you are charged with the task of identifying those who have proven this nobility, who are desirous of developing it and, most importantly, putting it at the service of the Order for the good of their fellow men. I take for granted that the majority of the Knights and Dames are no longer descended from noble families as they were in former times; but rather they are well up on the ladder of personal, professional and social development as a result of the nobility of their convictions. As for those who do bear a great name…Those of us who are ‘of noble birth’ must not fail to keep in mind from the outset that our roots lie in a tradition, a family, a dynasty – above all, a tradition of nobility, which could be borne by any man.

This is how I understand ‘Nobility’ as both a matter of lineage and a pledge of future development. We know where we have come from, what those who have gone before us have done; We know who we are; Having grasped these two givens we are in a position to determine our future, to establish our goals and to head towards them.

As a modern man and a present day Knight-to-be, I am becoming aware of just how much our rationalism has destroyed our ability to respond to the power of symbols. I think – perhaps we all do – that we are no longer superstitious. But in so becoming, we have lost to an alarming extent the understanding of what symbols mean and the values they portray. Symbols are the ideal means of incorruptibly carrying the meaning of words across time. They allow succeeding generations to interpret the same meaning in actions. The symbols of the Order people have borne down the ages as Knights and Dames have therefore led me to contemplate its future. It seems to me that many members of our community have wrapped up their hopes, their good will and their intelligence in the banner of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem. Unstintingly to the present day, they have expressed their intentions in words and deeds!

What makes us modern Knights and Dames nowadays? Perhaps it is the readiness of the truly noble man to make his presence felt where the need is greatest, notwithstanding the risks. If you put yourself in the firing line, you become a target!

    It is in this spirit that, following your request, I have decided to stand for election to service in the Order of St Lazarus, with the following manifesto:
  • Unity of the Order in its Christian spirit and its ecumenical tradition
  • Reunification with the ‘Malta Obedience’
  • The setting up of professional structures within the traditional hierarchy
  • Fulfilment of the genuine independence of the Order and the attainment of its recognition by governments and international organisations
  • The consolidation and development of charitable works

As I truly believe deep down, a Knight is not ‘a perfect man’ but he is one who strives for ideals and does his utmost to live up to them. A Knight is a man of prayer and a man of action… We are men of prayer and men of action!

Your Excellencies…

I seek to be a Prince of spirituality, of action, of solace to the most needy. To achieve these aims and more, it will be my honour and duty to collaborate with you. In accordance with a longstanding tradition of the House of France, I undertake to be the protector of the Order and to guarantee its future.

My efforts would undoubtedly have been noble if, when my time of service in the Order is over, you were able to say of me:

‘He fought the good fight, he ran the race to the end and kept the faith’

He was a worthy Knight of the Order of St Lazarus!


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