The honours I have received from music colleges and societies of musicians are detailed here. I have also received honorary degrees, fellowships, appointments as honorary academician and other academic awards, which are listed here together with further details on all the state, chivalric, nobiliary and other awards mentioned below.
Presidential and State Honours from the United States of America
I have been fortunate to have received several awards from the United States. In 2014, I received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for voluntary service from President Barack Obama. I have been honoured by the Governors of four states in the United States, being an Honorary Texan, Kentucky Colonel, Nebraska Admiral and Georgia Lieutenant-Colonel Aide-de-Camp.
Nobility and chivalry
My interest in nobility, chivalry and related matters began in childhood, formed part of my doctoral work, and has gone on to become an increasingly absorbing avocation in recent years. My expertise is not only in the European nobiliary and chivalric traditions but also in their development elsewhere in the world, notably in Africa during the colonial and post-colonial eras, and I am particularly interested in the role of nobility and chivalry as foundations for a society based on principles of traditional aristocratic feudalism.
My perspective is that of an absolute monarchist and traditionalist. As a paleolibertarian, I reject constitutional monarchy as being a legitimizing structure for the parasitic state, and likewise reject an aristocracy that is primarily political and thus parasitic as opposed to a genuinely independent landowning class. I have argued for a feudally organized propertarian society in which the manor is the basic unit of social construction and the role of the monarch, while absolute, is voluntary rather than authoritarian, based on the Platonic model of the philosopher-king and serving both to embody the identity of the nation and to act as its conscience.
Integral to my viewpoint is the close relationship between Church and King, whereby the office of the monarchy is of Divine institution, irrespective of the personal merits of its holder. In this respect I have been particularly influenced by Jean Hani’s work “Sacred Royalty: From the Pharaoh to the Most Christian King” (Matheson Trust, 2011). Opposing modernist interpretations, I continue to affirm the existence of nobiliary and chivalric authority within the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and to support the perpetuation of the jus honorum and the chivalric principle in our own time as vital elements of the structure of society that cannot be reduced either to purely charitable organizations or clubs for the wealthy.
I take a particular interest not so much in the contemporary European Royal Houses and their dependent aristocracies but rather in those Royal Houses that descend from the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and whose representatives re-established their dynastic rights in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries, often with the aid of judgments of the Italian courts. These Royal Houses made few concessions to constitutional monarchy or modern democracy but instead represented a Romantic and reactionary traditionalism that is more in line with my own views.
I was not born into the aristocracy. Indeed, I have always tried to remain true to my roots in the English working-class. Without at any point losing that key element of my identity, I have nevertheless been enormously fortunate to have had chivalric and nobiliary honours bestowed on me by Royal Houses and Orders in continental Europe, Africa, and Asia, and through election and adoption to have been selected to continue several nobiliary traditions that have a distinguished history. I regard these responsibilities as a solemn duty and a sacred trust, being intimately connected with my work within the Church. In order to avoid any compromise to the offices for which I have responsibility, it is my policy to refuse any honour that involves obligations to anyone in authority.
Although there is no law that prevents the use of foreign titles of nobility in England (nor any provision for their official recognition, or the official matriculation of foreign dynastic grants of arms), my preference is to be known simply by my professional designation of Professor John Kersey except on those occasions when I am acting within a specific religious or nobiliary context. In this matter, I am following the example of a number of British holders of foreign titles in the past, and also emphasising that the primary meaning of these honours for me is in their embodiment of a living tradition and its values, rather than in the vaunting of any personal kudos.
With the regnal designation of His Serene Highness the Most Reverend Edmond III, I am the 8th Prince-Abbot of San Luigi in succession to the 1883 foundation of the Abbey-Principality in the Fezzan, and the 6th Mukungu (Prince-Governor) of the Ancient Abbey-Principality of San Luigi (Fizzan) in succession to this title created by the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara in 1885. I also succeeded to the title of Marquis of Valjevo created in 1962 for the 7th Prince of San Luigi by the late King Peter II of Yugoslavia. As successor to my adoptive father, Prince Kermit William of Miensk, I am head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios, 2nd Prince of Miensk, Vilna and All Byelorussia, Duke of Smolensk, and a Prince of Gniezno. I am Prince Grand Master of the Royal Byelorussian Orders and the San Luigi Orders. In November 2019, the Royal Office of Orders, Honors and Awards Affairs of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom issued a Certificate of Recognition of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios, its titles and Orders, which places the Royal House in the unusual position among non-regnant dynasties of holding the official recognition of a reigning monarchy.
I was elected to the Prince-Abbacy of San Luigi and related offices by the Supreme Council of San Luigi on 25 August 2011 and confirmed in my title of Mukungu by His Majesty the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara on 25 January 2012. I was adopted as son and heir by my dear friend the late H.S.H. Prince Kermit of Miensk on 1 March 2015 and succeeded him in the Principality of Miensk and related honours upon his death later that month. As a consequence of his legacy, I adopted the additional surname of de Polanie-Patrikios for myself and my descendants. From Prince Kermit I inherited a number of further titles including Prince of Hohenheim (bestowed by the Royal House of Hohenstaufen-Lanza); Chief Oshodi of Irrua; Duke de Resigne and of Saint Cyrille; Swabian Count; and Baron of Aarburg.
I am a Privy Counsellor, Honorary Family Member, Noble and Peer of the Imperial Byzantine Amorian Dynasty, which dynasty was fully recognized by judgments of the Italian courts (under King Victor Emmanuel III) in 1945. As such, by right of family membership and the family laws of 1522, I am a Knight Grand Cross of Honour (thereby of Justice) in the Sacro Imperiale Ordine Costantiniano Nemagnico di Santo Stefano of the Imperial e Real Casa Capone Nemagna Paleologo, and Count Palatine (cf. judgement of 18 July 1945 (Luogotenenza del Regno), Tribunale Civile di Napoli, Quarta Sezione, filed on July 28, 1945 and registered in Naples, Office of Judicial Acts, on July 30, 1945: section 4).
From my cousin the Head of the Imperial House, I have received the titles of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (in the Imperial Byzantine Amorian Dynasty), Duke of Synnada, Marquis of Tiberiopolis and San Giovanni d’Acri, Count of Flaviopolis and San Giovanni d’Acri, Count Palatine of the Phrygian Dynasty of Amorio, and Baron of San Giovanni d’Acri; the Hereditary Grand Cross of the Ordine Internazionale delle Legion d’Onore dell’Immacolata, Hereditary Knight of Justice of the Serenissimo Militare (e Nobiliare) Ordine di San Marco, Hereditary Grand Cross of Justice with Collar of the Order of the Knights of St Catherine of Sinai, Hereditary Grand Cross of Justice of the Sacro Sovrano Imperiale Militare Ordine Costantiniano di San Giorgio della Milizia Aurata d’Oriente della Imperiale e Real Casa Lascaris Ventimiglia Valperga Sanmartino, Hereditary Grand Collar of Justice of the Sovrano Costantiniano Ordine di San Giorgio, già detto Ordine Costantiniano-Amoriano dei Cavalieri Aurati d’Oriente (Dinastico d’ Amorio); Hereditary Grand Collar of Justice of the Ordine Militare et Ospitaliere di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso; Hereditary Grand Collar of Justice of the Ordine Militare e Ospedaliero di Santa Maria di Betlemme; Hereditary Grand Collar of Justice of the (Ordine del) Cingolo – alias Cingolo Militare (Dinastico d’Amorio), and Hereditary Grand Collar of Justice of the Ordre Équestre de Saint George de Bourgogne, together with numerous armigerous rights.
From H.I.R.H. Prince don Ezra Annibale Foscari Widmann Rezzonico, Head of the Imperial House of Leopardi of Constantinople, I have received the titles of Prince of Hierapolis, Duke of Mardin, Count of Pontus, and Byzantine Patrician and Count Palatine of the Justinian-Heraclian Dynasty of Tomasi (subsequently Tomassini)-Paternò Leopardi of Constantinople. I am an Honorary Cousin, Peer and Privy Counsellor of Prince don Ezra. I am also a Knight Grand Cross of Justice with Collar of all the present and future Orders of the Dynasty, currently the Ordine Imperiale della Corona Eracliana di Costantinopoli, the Ordine della Guardia d’Onore di Santa Sofia, and the Ordine Imperiale Costantiniano di San Giorgio.
From H.S.H. Prince Orazio Scuro, hereditary Prince of Arbër and Count and Baron of Albania etc., I have received the titles of Prince of Laç, Duke of Fushë-Kuqe, Marquis of Mamurras, Count of Milot, and Count Palatine of the Princely House of Scuro, and am an Honorary Cousin, Peer and Privy Counsellor of Prince Orazio. I am also Knight Grand Cross of Justice with Collar of the Order of the Eagle of Albania, and serve as Prior and High Protector of this Order.
I am also Marquis of Maslinica, a Byzantine Patrician and Honorary Cousin by grant of H.S.H. Prince Orazio Mezzetti, head of the Sovereign Royal and Granducal House of Dalmatia, who is also of Byzantine Imperial descent.
From my cousin H.Ill.H. Count Miklós M. M. Cseszneky, head of the Hungarian noble House of Cseszneky (de Csesznek(Vár) et Milvány), I have received the Hereditary Grand Cross of the Order of Duke Ketel and the dynastic titles of Bagatur of Gniezno and Elteber of the Krivichs inter alia.
All of the above dynastic honours have been fully and equally reciprocated from my own Royal Houses and the Orders under my aegis, creating dynastic alliances in perpetuity.
In addition I have received the highest distinction of “Perpetuum” (Grand Cross) in the Ordinis Venerabilis Sodalicii Mariae Ss. Boni Consilii Mortis et Misericordiae, Città di Castello, Italy, which is probably the oldest religious brotherhood in continuous existence today (founded c.990AD). I am a Knight Grand Cross of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (O.S.M.T.H.) and hold the Officer’s Cross of the Prussian Order of the Eagle, awarded under the patronage of Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia. I have been awarded Knighthood of the Order of the Precious Blood in the Old Roman Catholic Church in America. In the Royal Order of St Stanislaus I have received the Gold Cross of Merit and Medal of the Wrocław Commandery. In the Kingdom of Besoro, Ashante, Ghana, I am a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Elephant of Besoro, and in the Kingdom of Papagya, Abura, Ghana, I am a Hereditary Grand Collar of the Royal Order of Kwakyen Ababio.
In the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara, Uganda, I am an Honorary Royal Chaplain to H.M. the Omukama and a Knight Grand Cross in the Most Honourable Order of Omukama Chwa II Kabalega, as well as being a Senator and Member of the Academic Council with the rank of Senior Fellow in the Royal Scientific Senate for Humanity, Health and Development Affairs of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom. I am a Royal Patron and Member of Council of the Heraldry Society of Africa (Uganda), of which H.M. the Omukama is Protector.
Through my late friend General Janos vitéz Karászy-Kulin and commanding officer General Professor Béla Király, I received the honorary rank of Colonel in the Hungarian National Guard (1956), together with its highest award, the Hungarian National Guard Grand Star (awarded with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence) and the Medal of the Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution. I was admitted as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St George the Martyr (Hungary) in 2017 and in the same year was honoured by the Order of the Calamian Star of Peace (Coron Island, Philippines) with the title of Grand Commander, being subsequently appointed Grand Prior for the Order in the UK. In 2012 I was awarded the Verdienstkreuz in Gold from the Confraternitas Oecumenica Sancti Sepulcri Hierosolymitani, Bavaria, Germany, of which I am also an Honorary Brother and Prefect for Great Britain, in recognition of my achievements in Alternative Education, Music and Theology and my humanitarian efforts for Africa.
I have also received a number of honours from the Islamic world. I was awarded an Honorary Datuship from the Sultanate of Baloi, Philippines, in 2015, and the title of Prince by the Royal Principality of the Upper Region of Hiran, Somalia, in 2017, followed by that of Honorary Vice-President in 2023. In 2016, the Head of the Royal House of Maharaja Adinda Aranan of the Sultanate of Sulu, H.R.H. Datu Muhammidul’ Ali Al-Mahmun Arunan, PBMM etc. bestowed the title of Datu Paduka in the Grand Order of Sultan Bantilan Muizuddin upon me. This was followed by appointments in the Supreme Order of Aranan; successively the Second Class Medal and title of Datu Panglima, and then as Commander with traditional title Laksamana. In 2020 I received the appointment of Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of Solidarity from the Royal House.
Medals and related awards
Other awards have included the Medal “Pro Probitas” in gold (Class I), the highest award of the Collegium Heraldicum Concordiae, Poland, the Jerusalem Cross and Medal of the Regent of the Union of the Polish Monarchists Association, the Commemorative Cross for the 150th Anniversary of Marshal Józef Piłsudski, and the Grosses Verdienstkreuz in Silber of the Freundeskreis Hoch- und Deutschmeister, Mannheim/Baden, Germany. I have received honours from Polish military and veterans’ societies, including the Cross of Merit of the Polish Society of War Veterans and Former Political Prisoners, the Badge of Honor – Cross of Merit for organization of soldiers of the Home Army Uprising Special Forces “Jerzyki” (“Swifts”), and the Brown Badge for merit awarded by the Polish Paratroopers Union in Warsaw.