The Order of Saint Patrick is the youngest of the three highest national awards in the UK. With this regalia, the aristocrats of Ireland were encouraged for their loyalty to the crown. The main insignia is an eight-pointed star with a shamrock in the center. On each of its three leaves – crowns, behind – a red cross.
Main characteristics of the Order of Saint Patrick
Date of establishment: 1783.
Number of degrees: 1.
Star size: 77mm x 75mm.
Badge Size: 100mm x 32mm
Star material: gold, silver, enamel, on special occasions: diamonds, emeralds, rubies.
Badge material: gold, enamel.
The Order of St. Patrick appeared according to the plan of George III (George III) and was supposed to increase the authority of the crown among the Irish nobility. The history of the award began in 1783. The name was chosen in honor of the famous saint. He was born in the west of Britain and was kidnapped by pirates at a young age. For some time he remained in captivity and tended the flocks in Ireland, then he was able to return to his homeland and became a preacher. Already in the rank of bishop, he again went to the “Emerald Isle”, where he converted many ordinary people to the faith. He explained the concept of the Trinity using the example of a clover leaf, which became its symbol. This saint’s day is an important Irish holiday.
The title of Grand Master of the Order belongs to the monarch, currently Elizabeth II.
In the past, the one who knighted the recipient was dressed in precious regalia. They included a sign and a star set with large diamonds, emeralds and rubies, as well as a luxurious necklace. These pieces of jewelry were created in 1836 and were kept in a safe in Dublin Castle with other treasures. For the highest value, they were nicknamed the “Jewels of the Irish Crown.” In 1907, before the arrival of the king, they were stolen. The best detectives of Scotland Yard tried to find the regalia, but their efforts were in vain. The mystery of this kidnapping remains unsolved.
Who was awarded the Order of St. Patrick The award was intended for the highest nobility of Ireland – the nobles in the third generation, exclusively men. Of the women, only Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II received it, since they were sovereigns.
The Order of Saint Patrick is a rare award. Items relating to it are kept in the museums of Dublin and Northern Ireland, in the collections of Great Britain and some European countries. Occasionally, a star, chain, or piece of garment is put up at Christie’s and other auctions. The order’s star and motto are now the hallmarks of the Irish Guards.