Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

King George V’s Star of the Order of the Black Eagle

Recently I posted in Kaiser Wilhelm II and his Garter Insignia about a Lesser George of the Order of the Garter which had in its reverse the badge of the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle and which had been made for Kaiser Wilhelm II. I have now come across pictures on Pinterest of a Star of the Order of the Black Eagle which incorporates the Garter. It is in the Royal Collection and was a gift to King George V when he was Prince of Wales - that is between 1901 and 1910 - from his cousin and the younger brother of the Kaiser, Prince Henry of Prussia.

The Star can be seen here

Combining the insignia of two Orders from two countries is unusual, but a graceful compliment, especially when two royal families are so closely connected by blood and marriage.

The linked photographs appear to show Stars of other Prussian Orders with the Garter similarly arranged around the outer rays, so this looks to have been an impressive and all embracing gift from Prince Henry. I wonder if the photographs of King George in Berlin in 1913 for the wedding of the Kaiser’s daughter Princess Victoria Louise reveal if he was wearing any of the pieces on that occasion.

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