Grand Knight Commander
of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions (GCTL)
The Grand Knight Commander is the highest of the four possible ranks:
Grand Knight Commanders are eligible for a seat on the High Council, a lapel badge, a neck badge, specific post-nominal letters, and certain knightly styles and forms of address.
Grand Knight Commanders of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions are awarded a lapel badge and a neck badge. The lapel badge should only be worn on formal or business formal attire, ideally on a lapel or on the torso where a brooch, or other medal might be worn. This badge is appropriate for most occasions, and should always be worn at official events of the Order or the Dukedom. The lapel badge was designed to be a more useful and modern form of the ribboned badges and lapel rosettes used by other orders.
The neck badge should only be worn with formal black tie or white tie attire (under the collar and below a bow tie, or under the collar and over a neck tie, resting just below the knot), but can also be worn with morning or lounge suits at certain occasions, including official events of the Order or the Dukedom, or other noble or state events. The neck badge and the lapel badge should not be worn together. The neck badge should be given precedence.
Please note that some nations and militaries restrict or have their own requirements for wearing honours awarded by other nations, states, nobles, noble houses, or organisations. Members are responsible for ensuring they follow all the necessary rules and regulations based on their nation of residence and citizenship.
How to Wear the GCTL Lapel Badge
How to Wear the GCTL Neck Badge (Dame and Ritterin Titles)
How to Wear the GCTL Neck Badge (Sir and Ritter Titles)
All recipients of knighthoods from the Order are allowed to use abbreviations after their full names to indicate their rank in the Order. For the Grand Knight Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions rank, the post-nominal letters are GCTL in English or GKDL in German. These are the official abbreviations and cannot be altered. Like academic titles, these abbreviations are used after the forename(s), surname(s), and a comma. The post-nominal letters can be used with (Sir John Smith, GCTL) or without (John Smith, GCTL) the knightly prefix. Post-nominal letters are never used after a forename alone.
If one has a right to multiple post-nominal letters, they should appear in order of precedence: royal orders granted by a reigning monarch (such as the Order of the Garter), state orders granted by an existing state (such as the Order of Merit awarded by many nations), dynastic or house orders (including the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions), and academic degrees and occupational abbreviations (such as MD, PhD, MA, or CPA).
As the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions is a dynastic order associated with the Dukedom of Swabia, but not owing allegiance to any existing nation, state, or government, all recipients of a knighthood in their own right are allowed to use the full styles and forms of address without restrictions based on nationality or citizenship. Styles and titles are based on their historical counterparts, but have been updated to allow for the demands of a modern, multicultural word, as well as to offer anglicised equivalents. Please note that the Order of the Three Lions is a dynastic order of chivalry (Hausorden), like all other German orders of chivalry since 1919, so the titles and styles carry no legal weight and cannot be used on passports or to acquire citizenship. The badges, titles, and styles are intended for use socially in recognition of outstanding achievements. A member's knighthood, and the rank, privileges, titles, and styles appertaining, belong to that member for her/his lifetime, but are not inheritable by descendants. Members are allowed to choose from the following based on personal preference:
Dame Jane Smith, GCTL or Dame Jane
Dame Jane Smith, GKDL or Dame Jane
Dame Jane, Ritterin von Smith, GKDL or Dame Jane
Sir John Smith, GCTL or Sir John
Sir John, Ritter von Smith, GCTL or Sir John
John Ritter von Smith, GKDL
Spouses who do not have a knighthood in their own right are not permitted to use the post-nominal letters or a title before the forename, but are allowed a courtesy title before the surname only. Members' spouses are allowed to choose from the following based on personal preference:
Lady Smith or Jane, Lady Smith
Sir Smith or John, Sir Smith