The Prince Regent loved a costume, or a uniform, or any kind of ceremony which required extra-special dressing. So he must have been delighted when the King of France, early in 1815, created him a member of the French Order of the Holy Spirit, and sent him a 'superb dress' with the Order. The Literary Panorama and National Register of March 1815 published a complete description of the dress. When I read it, it sparked several questions in my mind….
The Collar of L'Ordre du Saint-Esprit
The king who presented the Prince Regent with the Order was Louis XVIII, who ruled around the comings and goings of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was the brother of Louis XVI, ruling de jure from 8 June 1795 to 16 September 1824, after his brother's execution and the death of his young nephew in prison. He only took the throne however from the 11 April 1814 to 20 March 1815 and then following Napoleon's final defeat from 8 July 1815 to his death in September 1824.
A final note that I found fascinating: the Cross of the Holy Spirit (part of the accountrements of the order) was hung from a blue riband and the Knights of the Order became known as Les Cordon Bleus. This term came to be associated with excellence--for example, blue ribbon sports winners, and, fine cooking. It is even suggested that the term Cordon Bleu cooking evolved from the brilliance of the Order's dinners!
Ah, the joys of research…
'Til next time,