The self-styled Imperial Order of St Stanislas, who can be found at http://www.ststanislas.com/ has recently caught this reader’s attention on Social Media, and has a variety of “Royal patrons”, descendants from the Russian Imperial House (who have unwisely chosen to lend their name and patronage to the group). Although this self-styled order (very subtly) claims it is not a continuation of the original order of St Stanislas, and is merely a charitable organisation, many of its members seem to treat it as if it were the original Order.
The group were recently spotted in London. Princess Olga Andreevna, and Prince Rostislav Rostislavovich are both members of this self-styled Order, Olga being its Patroness. Soon after, a variety of pictures surfaced, showing ‘Knights’ and ‘Dames’ festooned with shiny breast stars and badly worn sashes.
The man on the far left of that photo is the group’s ‘Grand Sword Bearer’, Roger Djupvik. Photos from his Facebook account show him wearing a variety of exotic medals (including an OBE), many of which are only given to a handful of people- and I have seen no proof of Mr Djupvik being one of them. He has been seen at a number of St. Stanislas events and nobody seems to question his dubious claims.
Secondly, on the centre left, is the Order’s ‘Grand Master’, Glenn Hole. Glenn seems to be very good friends with Prince Rostislav, and the group’s Patroness, Princess Olga, who is the daughter of HH Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia. It confuses this reader as to why their Highnesses have become so heavily involved in such a ridiculous group. It calls itself a ‘Charitable Organisation’ but then also goes onto say that it is an ‘Order of Chivalry’. It is not a legitimate Chivalric Order and should not be treated as such. It should be remembered that, we cannot hold the Romanov’s involvement in this group against them. One cannot expect descendants of Royal houses to be experts of groups such as these, and it is not the fault of their own that they have became involved in such a group.
Finally, the man on the far right calls himself ‘the Vicomte Lawrence de Donges Amiss Amiss’ although I doubt that is his real name given that this man seems to have a history of false claims according to one website. Among these, ‘His Lordship’ has previously told this writer he is the descendant of exiled French Aristocracy, while his mother supposedly masquerades as ‘Lady Jennifer’. One wonders why on Earth such a man’s presence is tolerated in the group, given his previous history of false and dubious claims.
On the group’s website, when looking at the ‘Origins of the Order’ section, it goes into great depth about the original order of St Stanislas- which this group is in no way connected to. It includes pictures of the original Order’s leaders and the group’s badges mimic that of the original Order. Without reading the small print on this website- one could be very easily misled into thinking that it was the original Order; on whether this is intentional or not, this writer couldn’t possibly comment.
To summarise, although this group admits it is not the original Order, it still calls itself an Order of Chivalry- which is not true. The self-styled Imperial Order of St Stanislas is nothing more than a group of men (most of which seem to be masquerading as aristocrats or distinguished military figures) playing dress-up; some of whom ironically can’t even wear the organisation’s sash correctly. After looking at some of the group’s members, I despair to see that real members of Royalty such as Princess Olga and Prince Rostislav have been misled into being involved in such a ridiculous, deceitful, and frankly embarrassing self-styled ‘Order’. I would firmly advise any readers to avoid this group like the plague.
The Real Orders
According to Burke’s World Orders of Knighthood and Merit and the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry, there are two Orders legitimately claiming descent from the Order of St Stanislas. These are the Order of Polonia Restituta, given by the Polish state, and the Royal and Imperial Order of St. Stanislas, awarded by HIH Grand Duchess Maria, head of the Russian Imperial House. A more in-depth history of the original order can be found here.