Order of St Patrick

The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick is a dormant British order of chivalry associated with Ireland. The Order was created in 1783 by George III at the request of the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the 3rd Earl Temple (later created Marquess of Buckingham). The regular creation of knights of the Order lasted until 1922, when most of Ireland gained independence as the Irish Free State, a dominion within what was then known as the British Commonwealth of Nations. While the Order technically still exists, no knight of St Patrick has been created since 1936, and the last surviving knight, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, died in 1974. Elizabeth II, however, remains the Sovereign of the Order, and one officer, the Ulster King of Arms (now represented in the office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms), also survives. St Patrick is patron of the order; its motto is Quis separabit?, Latin for "Who will separate [us]?": an allusion to the Vulgate translation of Romans 8:35, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"[1]

Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick
Insignia of a Knight of the Order of St. Patrick
Awarded by

Sovereign of the United Kingdom
TypeOrder of chivalry
MottoQuis separabit?
CriteriaAt the monarch's pleasure
StatusLast appointment in 1922
Dormant order since 1974
SovereignElizabeth II
GradesKnight (KP)
Next (higher)Order of the Thistle
Next (lower)Order of the Bath

Riband of the Order of St. Patrick

Most British orders of chivalry cover the entire United Kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent country only. The Order of St Patrick, which pertains to Ireland, is the most junior of these three in precedence and age. Its equivalent in England, the Most Noble Order of the Garter, is the oldest order of chivalry in the British Isles, dating from the mid fourteenth century. The Scottish equivalent is the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, dating in its present form from 1687.