The Order of St. George (UK & Grand Priory of Canada and the Americas)

The (International) Knightly Order Valiant of St. George

A modern investiture of the Order in progress at Rochester Cathedral, England.

The origins of the Order

The International Knightly Order Valiant of St George takes its inspiration from an ancient and military order of knighthood, founded on 23 April 1326 in Visegrad, Hungary, by King Károly Róbert, great-grandson of Charles of Anjou.

It is a lay order dedicated to the name of the Blessed Trinity under the particular patronage of St George (patron of chivalry).
The original foundation documents are preserved in the Hungarian National Archives in Budapest. It is the most ancient of those Chivalric Orders which were created as “Royal” institutions, independent of the church and is a religious confraternity of Knights and Dames who are committed to a life of humility, loyalty and service for the common good. Over the centuries, governance of the Order has been in the hands of Kings of Hungary, Holy Roman Emperors, Cardinals and a Pope.

In Hungary, the twentieth century foundation the Order of Vitéz was based upon the Order of St. George, but the Knightly Order Valiant of St George re-emerged in its own right after the fall of communism in 1989. {{Welcher Nachfolgerorden entstand früher: der ungarische oder der britische?}}

The Ceremony in St Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest to install the Grand Master – the senior judge of Hungary – was attended by the President’s representative, the Cardinal Primate and the senior Protestant bishop, as well as numerous politicians.  As an annual event it has become part of the state ceremonial tradition involving senior members of the Government, the military and religious hierarchies, and from all walks of life.

In the twentieth century the international Order was officially registered as a charity under English law.


The Governor General's Horse Guard
The Governor General's Horse Guard present at the 2009 Investiture

The Order of St. George — inspired by the Fraternal Society of Knighthood of St. George founded approximately 680 years ago — was established in Canada on 01 March, 2003. Its formation as a Canadian Priory was consecrated at Christ Church in Niagara Falls on that date. The Order is a not-for-profit corporation (Corporation Registration # 433821-9) and has as its most important function of soliciting and accumulating funds and donations on behalf of the charitable arm of the Order, the International Knightly Order of St. George Foundation (Charity's registration number: 83351 2049 RR0001) and contributing those funds to provide support and immediate financial resources to the families of fallen or wounded Canadian Forces personnel.

Although the Order does not require military service as a requirement for membership, much of the ceremonial and pageantry of the order continues to imbibe a military flavour. Charity remains the most important part of the work of the Order and the Grand Priory. The ethos of the Canadian Priory is inspired from the original order founded by King Károly Róbert of Hungary in 1326 and can be reflected with the following:

  • To support and uphold the Christian Faith or Faith of one's birth,
  • To help the needy spiritually, mentally and materially,
  • To uphold the chivalric virtues of: 
    • Prowess
    • Courage
    • Honesty
    • Loyalty
    • Generosity
    • Faith
    • Courtesy
    • Franchise/Beneficence