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The Armorial Register - International Register of Arms - Festing, R.M.

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His Most Eminent Highness Fra Robert Matthew Festing

Registered: The International Register of Arms, 8th Sept. 2015. Registration No. 0364 (Vol.2)

Arms: Quartely, 1 & 4. Gules a cross Argent [Order of Malta]; 2 & 3. Azure an eagle displayed Erminois armed & langued Gules, between three towers Argent, portals of the third [Festing].  All set Beneath a Sovereign arched crown Or, jeweled & pearled, and within a mantle Sable lined Ermine adorned, fringed & roped Or.

Motto: None

Grant: Festing: College of Arms grant 1827.
Order of Malta: Time immemorial.

This rendition is by David Waterton-Anderson, KSG, OLJ

The Arms of His Most Eminent Highness Fra Robert Matthew Festing

Matthew Festing, an Englishman, was elected Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta on 11th March 2008 by the Council Complete of State of the Order of Malta. He succeeds Fra Andrew Bertie, 78th Grand Master (1988-2008), who died on 7 February 2008.

Born in Northumberland on 30 November 1949, educated at Ampleforth and St. Johns College Cambridge, where he read history, Fra Matthew Festing, an art expert, has for most of his professional life worked at an international art auction house. As a child he lived in Egypt and Singapore, where his father, Field Marshal Sir Francis Festing, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, had earlier postings. He is also descended from Sir Adrian Fortescue, a knight of Malta, who was martyred in 1539.

Fra Matthew Festing served in the Grenadier Guards and holds the rank of colonel in the Territorial Army. He was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen and served as one of her Deputy Lieutenants in the county of Northumberland.

He became a member of the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1977, and took solemn religious vows in 1991, becoming a Professed Knight of the Order. Between 1993 and 2008 he was the Grand Prior of England. In this role, he led missions of humanitarian aid to Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia, and headed the British delegation at the Orders annual international pilgrimage to Lourdes.


It has long been the practice of Grand Masters of the Order to quarter their personal arms with those of the Order as is depicted here. The arms are displayed upon the Orderís eight-pointed Latin Cross and are surrounded by the Collar, symbol of the Grand Master, within a princely mantle and surmounted by a closed crown.

 

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The Armorial Bearings of His Most Eminent Highness Fra Robert Matthew Festing