Sovereign Magistral

Elevation to Templar Knighthood or Damehood:

Becoming a Templar Knight or Dame in Nobility Peerage


Members can be elevated to genuine Knighthood or Damehood in the original 12th century Order, for earned merit, as an official nobility peerage title with full legal and chivalric legitimacy in international law.



G (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgGenuine Knighthood or Damehood is a status of official nobility peerage under customary international law, as confirmed by university scholars and historians [1] [2]. Experts in nobiliary law and chivalric law emphasize the rule that “only the higher degrees of [Sovereign] Orders can be deemed of knightly rank” [3], such that the basic membership levels of an Order cannot be “styled ‘Knight’” [4]. Scholars of Canon law confirm that Knights and Dames “to be accepted in the Military Orders, had to serve for a period of time as novices, then they were allowed to have an investiture” [5].


'The Accolade' (1901 AD), fictional painting of knighting ceremony by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922 AD)

‘The Accolade’ (1901 AD), fictional painting of knighting ceremony by Edmund Blair Leighton

Accordingly, the verified traditional rule is that the nobiliary titles of Knight and Dame cannot be given simply for “membership” (as if in some private club or fraternity for mere networking), and cannot be the result of simply “joining” an Order of Chivalry in general membership. Rather, the nobiliary status of Knighthood or Damehood must be earned, by substantive training and accomplishments of proven merit, as required by customary law.


The Temple Rule of 1129 AD requires the Templar Order to “not consent immediately to receive” one requesting Knighthood or Damehood, and to “Test the soul whether it comes from God” (Rule 11), that “first he shall be put to the test… [of] honesty” (Rule 14). [6]


Therefore, the authentic practice of joining the Templar Order is through general membership as a Sergeant or Adjutante, or Temple Guardian. Knighthood or Damehood must then be earned by active participation and meritorious service to the missions of the Order.


Elevation to Knight or Dame in the Templar Order is traditionally only by invitation of the Grand Mastery, based upon meaningful interaction and demonstrated merit.


Investiture by Professing the Vow of Chivalry


A (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgAuthentic to the historical practices of the Templar Order, Knights and Dames do not “swear” any “Oath”, because their spiritual motivations do not require any artificial device to establish allegiance. The Order itself must earn allegiance, by faithfully preserving and upholding the same Code of Chivalry, Templar Code and Temple Rule as all its members commit to live by.  Genuine loyalty thereby arises naturally, by mutually earned merit, through shared values and dedication to authentic humanitarian missions of the Order, and thus does not need any artificial mechanism of control.


Instead of “swearing” an “Oath” as popularized by various fraternities, Templars authentically “profess” a “Vow” to live the life of Chivalry.  This is traditionally called giving one’s “Profession of knighthood”, and is known in the historical Orders as becoming a “Professed Knight” or Dame.  The Vow of Chivalry is given directly to God through the Holy Spirit, and not to the Order itself.  (The references to God are interfaith and non-denominational.)


Knighthood or Damehood is vested in the qualified individual by chivalric and canonical “investiture”. The essence of the Investiture Ceremony is professing the Vow of Chivalry, dedicating one’s life to the Code of Chivalry of 1066 AD and the Temple Rule of 1129 AD, which in turn embodies the Templar Code of 1150 AD.


For public transparency, the verbal formula for professing the Vow of Chivalry in the restored Templar Order, is officially established as the following:


By all that is Holy, before God and the Angels, through the Holy Spirit, I [name] do solemnly profess this sacred Vow:  To live by the Code of Chivalry and Temple Rule; Defend all Faith and religious rights; Defend the weak against abuses by the strong; Defend national sovereignty against tyranny; To face all enemies and fight without mercy; To uphold Justice for good against evil; And defend the Order and my Brothers and Sisters against all enemies, external and internal.  So help me God.  Non nobis Domine.  Amen.” (Based on Temple Rule, Rule 274, summarizing the Code of Chivalry)


Authentic & Practical Templar Investiture Ceremony


T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe “Knighting Ceremony” of the Knights Templar is the subject of much speculation, fueled by diverse revivalist fantasies. The many various ceremonies with “Templar” styled themes, which were invented and widely popularized by 15th-19th century private fraternities, in fact were never used by the original 12th century Order of the Temple of Solomon. Such ceremonies are typically relied upon for “bragging rights” of who are “Real Templars” more than and superior to others, apparently based upon which group has more elaborate practices.


Grandiose and elaborate ceremonies, relying on multiple “props” of ceremonial objects, long incantations, and sometimes showy displays of artificial humility such as “vigils” and “fasting” and prolonged “prostrating”, are all anathema to the authentic doctrines and medieval monastic simplicity of the genuine Orders of Chivalry.


Indeed, the Temple Rule of 1129 AD required all Templars to live with “restraint” and “moderation” (Rule 15), “without any arrogance and without any show of pride” (Rules 18-19), and commanded to “not become proud” even in one’s expressions of apparent humility (Rule 34) [7].


Authoritative experts in Chivalry confirm that elaborate ceremonies were never required, and could never substitute for full chivalric legitimacy under customary law:


In the Middle Ages knighthoods were frequently conferred on the battlefield. The knight elect knelt before the commander of the army, who struck him with the sword… whilst uttering words such as ‘Avancez Chevalier au nom de Dieu’ [‘Rise Knight in the name of God’].” [8] This highlights, as a historical fact, that it was the strength of legitimacy of a chivalric Order which allowed it to use short-form and even informal investiture ceremonies.


In traditional British Royal Chivalry, as practiced in Buckingham Palace to this day, the Investiture Ceremony for knighthood and damehood is simple and direct, following the “short form” used in medieval battlefield conditions:


[One] kneels with his right knee upon the investiture stool”, receives the accolade of dubbing “with the investiture sword… then stands to the left of the stool and is invested with the insignia”. A new Dame does not kneel and is not dubbed with a sword, but is “presented” with Damehood by “placing the correct decoration [insignia] on a cushion”. [9]


Scholars of Canon law documented that in most medieval chivalric Orders, the “investiture… took place under a severe and solemn ceremony in Church, in the presence of a Bishop or the Grand Master”. If a Bishop was not available, he could be substituted with an Abbot or Prelate. “After taking the Vows and completion of other formalities the [new] Knight was given the… military [regalia]”. [10]


However, the Ecclesiastical Dubbing of Knighthood was only performed by Clergy for the Vatican’s own in-house chivalric Orders under dependent Patronage of the Church, and was essentially in the form of a Blessing [11]. In Sovereign Orders for which the Vatican had recognized independence, such as the Order of the Temple of Solomon (by the Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum of 1139 AD), the Church did not conduct the Investiture Ceremony, but only provided supplemental Blessing by the 13th century liturgy Benedictio Novi Militis (“Blessing of New Knights”) [12].


Full Templar Investiture Ceremony – Traditionally, the full Investiture Ceremony of the Templar Order is held in a cooperating Church or private Chapel affiliated with a Templar Commandery, at a Templar Pilgrimage site, or in other sacred spaces attended by Knights and Dames who are Crown Officers of the Order authorized to give Investiture. The ceremony can be given at a convocation event for large or small groups, or for individuals as needed.


The full Templar Investiture Ceremony includes the traditional Blessing of Chivalry, which is compatible with interfaith and non-denominational practice, administered by canonical Templar Clergy, who can also be Apostolic Bishops (upon request, subject to availability).


As in the British tradition, the Templar Investiture is simple and direct, meaningful, brief and convenient. Reflecting true monastic simplicity, it is spiritually pure. While differing versions may be used as appropriate for various situations, the Templar Ceremony is always carefully reconstructed from the original 12th century practices, as evidenced by the historical record.


Accordingly, the authentic full version of the Templar Investiture Ceremony is always comfortable, respectful, dignified and suitable for “VIP” figures and people of all ages, and is compatible with all denominations and even with other religions outside Christianity.


For those reasons, the original Templar knighting ceremony was requested and given to the honoured and feared Muslim Sultan General Salahadin ca. 1190 AD [13], which served as the key step in establishing the peace treaty between the Templars and the Saracens, the Treaty of Ramla of 1192 AD [14] [15].


Short-Form Investiture Ceremony – The modern version of the traditional “battlefield conditions” can be an intensive workload burdening the Grand Mastery, or medical, political or economic restrictions affecting the Brother or Sister, preventing travel to a location or event to receive Investiture.  It can also be some urgency during the course of active work on a Templar mission, where immediate elevation to knighthood or damehood is expected to substantially support successful results of the mission.


In modern civilian “battlefield conditions” of international operations, when necessary, the short-form Investiture Ceremony can be administered by live distance communication (i.e. video conference).  This practice is authentic to the historical principles, canonically valid, and scripturally sound, because the Vow of Chivalry is professed directly to God, and not merely to the Order, and Templar Brothers and Sisters are Agents of God.


Legitimacy of such investiture is based upon the doctrines that Agents of God are ordained by God and not by men (Hebrews 5:1-4; Hebrews 5:4; John 15:16), and that the Holy Spirit works strongly in those who are called to serve as Agents of God (I Corinthians 7:20,22; Colossians 1:25,29; Ephesians 3:7-8; II Timothy 1:9).


Invoking the Power of the Holy Spirit of God


Receiving historically renowned knighthood or damehood in the Templar Order, through the traditional Templar Vow of Chivalry, is not a mere “symbolic” act. Professing the Vow of Chivalry is not for the benefit of the Order, but rather is an esoteric and spiritual invocation, as a trigger for personal transformation, for the benefit of the Knight or Dame. It is a significant step, by conscious will and focused intent of the professed Templar, to change their lives, discover new Quests, and give deeper dimension of meaning to their lives.


Dedicating one’s life to Chivalry in the Templar Order, as a legendary historical institution with ancient roots, sets into motion a mechanism of bioenergy and energy-information physics, involving brain waves interacting with subtle energy fields through electromagnetic spectrums and beyond. (This is what was described by 1st century early Christians as “the workings of the Holy Spirit”, and in medieval Canon law as “the sacred sciences”.)


Through these mechanics of consciousness, the new Knight or Dame literally “taps into” the collective accumulated energies, thoughts, emotions, knowledge, morals, values, and historical missions from over 12,000 years of the ancient Templar Priesthood (which the Knights Templar recovered and restored from the Temple of Solomon), and almost 900 years of the medieval Order of the Temple of Solomon.  (This is what was described by the scientist Carl Jung as tapping into “Archetypes” as energy fields of the “collective unconscious”.)


All of those sacred energies, guided by the Holy Spirit, then become an active driving force in one’s life, stimulating inspiration of purpose, synchronicity of opportunities, and what is described by some as the fulfillment of one’s “destiny”, following God’s greater plan.


For this reason, the Temple Rule of 1129 AD highlights that “The good works of Our Lady of God are with us” (Rule 2), and clarifies that the “Templar Order was founded by the grace of the Holy Spirit” (Rule 3).  This represents the traditional saying of the medieval Templars: “The Holy Spirit works strongly in the Templar Order”.  This was not a mere belief, but a warning, that the power of God flows strongly through the Order of the Temple, such that the Holy Spirit governs this historical institution.


Regalia for Knight & Dame Templars


P (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgPopularized ceremonial regalia widely used by self-styled “Templar” themed groups is not authentic to the 12th century Order of the Temple of Solomon, but rather was invented by a 15th century fraternity which is not a chivalric Order [16]. The modern Order of the Temple of Solomon has adopted the 14th century Rules of Chivalric Regalia as codified in 1672 AD [17] and established as the international standard system in 1921 AD [18], as other surviving 12th century chivalric Orders have done as precedent [19].


The Temple Rule of 1129 AD required “everyone to have the same” uniform (Rule 18), modified only by the Sergeants wearing black tunics, to distinguish them from the Knights (Rule 68) [20]. By historical precedent of the 12th century Teutonic Order, women as Templar Sisters wear the same uniform jacket as their Templar Brothers [21]. Authentic to this tradition, all Templar uniforms are identical, modified only by the color of narrow embroidered trim on the collar and sleeves, and the relevant insignia. Knights and Dames thus wear the same uniform as all Templars and Crown Officers, only indicated with red trim.


The Templar uniform jacket is both practical and highly versatile, suitable for formal, semi-formal or informal dress. It is conservative with monastic modesty, designed to look modestly regal at ceremonial events, yet reasonably blend in at business meetings among lounge suits, or even to complement safari wear for active field work. Instead of storing it in a closet only for rare events, modern Templars can fully enjoy their uniform for every-day use in diverse situations.


The Order also reestablished proper use of the medieval Livery Badge and Livery Collar, as official insignia reserved for Chivalry and Nobility [22] [23], which were authorized to wear “at all feasts and in all companies” with all dress codes [24]. Knights and Dames are distinguished by a “copper” metal for the Livery Badge and Livery Collar, which matches well with their embroidered red trim on the uniform jacket.


As a result, in situations where the uniform is not used, Templar Knights and Dames can rightfully use the relevant chivalric badges and collars with smart casual dress, business dress and evening wear, expressing their official Templarism in diverse situations.


Knight Regalia (Lounge & Formal)

Knight Regalia (Lounge & Formal)


Dame Regalia (Lounge & Formal)

Dame Regalia (Lounge & Formal)


Regalia Purchased Separately – Regalia must be purchased separately, after completing the Investiture Ceremony and being installed as a Templar Knight or Dame.  Regalia costs are not included in the subscriptions or donations made by members of the Order.


Illustrations May Enlarge Sizes – For the purposes of Illustration, regalia accessories and insignia may appear larger than their actual size proportional to the clothing, for better visibility of detail.  Actual sizes are strictly and precisely in accordance with the international standard rules as used by all governments and legitimate chivalric Orders.



Suggested Related Topics


Learn about joining in General Membership in the Templar Order.

Learn about receiving Donat Patron status without formalities.

Learn about Modern Templar Missions as membership activities.



Academic Source References


[1] François Velde, Nobility and Titles in France, Heraldica (1996), updated (2003), “History of Nobility: Numbers”.

[2] François Velde, Nobility and Titles in France, Heraldica (1996), updated (2003), “History of Nobility: Titles of Nobility: Created Titles”.

[3] International Commission for Orders of Chivalry (ICOC), Report of the Commission Internationale Permanente d’Études des Ordres de Chevalerie, “Registre des Ordres de Chivalerie”, The Armorial, Edinburgh (1978), Gryfons Publishers, USA (1996), including: Principles Involved in Assessing the Validity of Orders of Chivalry (1963), Principle 1.

[4] Noel Cox, The Sovereign Authority for the Creation of Orders of Chivalry, “Arma” Journal, Heraldry Society of Southern Africa (1999-2000), pp.317-329.

[5] Saint Michael Academy of Eschatology, The Military and Regular Orders, West Palm Beach, Florida (2008), updated (2015), Free Course No.555: “Chivalric Orders”, Lesson 3, Part 3.

[6] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rules 11, 14.

[7] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rules 15, 18-19, 34.

[8] Patrick Montague-Smith, Debrett’s Correct Form, 1st Edition, Kelly’s Directories, London (1970); Debrett’s Handbook, Debrett’s Peerage Ltd., London (2014); (online), “People: Honours: Knight Bachelor”.

[9] Patrick Montague-Smith, Debrett’s Correct Form, 1st Edition, Kelly’s Directories, London (1970); Debrett’s Handbook, Debrett’s Peerage Ltd., London (2014); (online), “People: Essential Guide to the Peerage: The Knightage”.

[10] Saint Michael Academy of Eschatology, The Military and Regular Orders, West Palm Beach, Florida (2008), updated (2015), Free Course No.555: “Chivalric Orders”, Lesson 3, Part 3.

[11] Emile Leon Gautier, La Chevalerie (1883), translated in: Henry Frith, Chivalry, George Routledge & Sons, London (1891), Chapter IV, Commandment X, citing the Vatican’s medieval Dubbing of Knighthood of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome.

[12] Emile Leon Gautier, La Chevalerie (1883), translated in: Henry Frith, Chivalry, George Routledge & Sons, London (1891), Chapter IV, Commandment X, citing the 13th century liturgy Benedictio Novi Militis established by William Durand.

[13] Brad Miner, The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man’s Guide to Chivalry, Spence Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 2004, pp.43-44; citing Ordene de Chevalerie, France, ca. 1250 AD.

[14] Facts on File Library of World History, Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, Infobase Publishing, Africa (2009), “Saladin”, p.386.

[15] J. Gordon Melton, Faiths Across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History, ABC-CLIO Publishing (2014), “1192”, “September 2, 1192”, p.786.

[16] John Yarker, The Arcane Schools, Manchester (1909), pp.341-342.

[17] Elias Ashmole, Institution Laws and Ceremonies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Hammet Publishing, London (1672), with engravings by Wenceslaus Hollar (33 plates), digitized by Folger Shakespeare Library.

[18] Herbert Arthur Previté Trendell, Dress and Insignia Worn at His Majesty’s Court, Harrison & Sons, for Lord Chamberlain’s Office, London (1921).

[19] Noel Cox, The Robes and Insignia of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Arma: Journal of the Heraldry Society of Southern Africa (1999-2000), Issue 5.2.

[20] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rules 18, 68.

[21] François Velde, Women Knights in the Middle Ages, Heraldica (1996), updated (2003),”Women in the Military Orders”.

[22] Peter Brown, A Companion to Chaucer, Wiley-Blackwell (2002), p.17.

[23] Chris Given-Wilson, Richard II and the Higher Nobility, in Anthony Goodman & James Gillespie, Richard II: The Art of Kingship, Oxford University Press (2003), p.126.

[24] Susan Crane, The Performance of Self, University of Pennsylvania Press (2002), p.19.


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