Orders of Knighthood are the most exclusive and prestigious institutions in the world. Originally the preserve of royalty and aristocracy, they now include amongst their membership tycoons such as Rupert Murdoch, entertainers (Sir Mick Jagger, for example) and world leaders (Nelson Mandela). Burke's Peerage and Gentry have now produced a major new study of the extant orders of knighthood and merit of every state, the result of the collaboration of many of the world's leading specialists. The first section commences with detailed histories of the surviving confraternal orders, beginning with the famous Order of Malta. The second section includes histories of all the great European single class Collar Orders, by date of foundation, beginning with the Order of the Garter (England) and including the Orders from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. The third includes histories of the most prestigious Orders of Chivalry and the remaining sections include one devoted to royal dynastic Orders, another to ladies' Orders and the largest section: State Merit Orders. The main portion ends with a section on institutions of chivalric character.
Each Order's purpose, structure, investiture details, officers and membership requirements will be listed along with details of the insignia. These lavishly illustrated, full colour volumes also include illustrations of the uniforms, robes and insignia as well as photographs and paintings of related places and people, diplomas, armorial bearings and ceremonies of investiture. This unique volume will be of great interest to academics, historians, collectors and members of any of the numerous international orders.