Order among Non-European Royal Houses

Time for my second post in English (first here), as the issues concerns more than a Swedish reader.

Non-European Royal Houses. What of them? Well, there is a lot of them. And more keep popping up with fancy websites, complete with a set of orders ready for bestowal and sometimes even titles of nobility. This constitutes a real problem.

There is an increasing number of Houses who are not former Heads of State, that has created Orders of Chivalry/Knighthood in recent years, and which may also offer noble titles. First of all, the complete disregard for formalities may be baffling – non-ruling houses should not institute orders nor confer nobility. It is also embarrassingly clear the the whole point of the operation is to bring a cash flow to the House and bling-bling to whomever has the purse for it.

It must be clear that the validity of the titles bestowed rests solely within the supporters of that House, until it becomes a ruling House again. And these orders severely adds to inflation of the orders system, because the Grand Cross and Grand Officer Classes often are far too easy to obtain. Granting a Grand Cross is roughly the equivalent of attributing the rank of at least General-Major to a person, and Grand Officer the rank of Colonel and there are far too many examples of persons being well below the attributed rank.

One recent example might be The Royal House of Godenu. If you google around, it is clear the the House of Godenu were not paramount chiefs, not chiefs – but sub-chiefs, offering allegiance to other prominent chiefs. How a sub-chief House unilaterally becomes Royal is beyond me, thus claiming a greater honor than more prominent chiefly houses, who are not claiming to be royals.

The website invokes the constitution of Ghana as support for the claims. But the constitution deals with the National and Regional Chiefs and does not mention a Royal status, and the House of Godenu is too minor to appear in the National Council of Chiefs. The orders bestowed by a sub-chief must have a highly limited value outside Godenu. And to have a menu of noble titles, it is simply not good. There is nothing to support their bestowal.

The House of Godenu should be what it is – sub-chiefly – and be proud of that. There is no need for the extravaganza.

There are other examples, but I leave it to the scrutiny of the reader. A hint is to look for the list; the list of prominent receivers of the orders or titles, to boost the honor of the House. In fact, it is the opposite, because the mere existence of such list acknowledges the apparent need for such boost… And it should not be needed by a House. Caveat Emptor.

2 tankar på “Order among Non-European Royal Houses

  1. You are absolutely wrong, Godenu is a division of the Traditional Area of Hohoe … The Traditional Area is a kingdom and it is divided into principalities (analogically with the Holy Empire or the German Empire). The chief of Hohoe is the largest of the chiefs of the area and therefore receives leadade of the smaller chiefs …

  2. Yes, but the sovereignty of state does not rest with the paramount chiefs, the chiefs or the sub chiefs, it rests with the republic of Ghana. Only Ghana can confer orders, titles etc. Godenu is not mentioned in the constitution of Ghana, it is a sub-chieftaincy and as such can not in itself proclaim that it is a Royal House. Other African traditional chief inside republics have been recognized by the respective republic in constitution or otherwise as HRH or HH, but I do not find that Ghana has done so, and a sub chief would probably be recognized as HH. All in all, I feel that Godenu claims is stetching it a bit too thin…


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