St. PETERSBURG, Russia (June 24, 1995)
H.I.R.H. Prince Henri Constantine III with Princess Françoise Paleologo at the Imperial Chapel of the Imperial Winter Palace Pavlosk, being crowned in the same Chapel where Emperor Paul I on November 29, 1798 was officially proclaimed Grand Master of the two Grand Priories, Russian, Orthodox and Catholic, of the Order of St. John.
In 1472 Ivan III, Grand Prince of All Russia (Known also as “Ivan the Terrible”) married Princess Zoe (Sophia) Paleologos, daughter of Thomas, Emperor of Byzantium in exile, and niece of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI. On the basis of this marriage the Russian Rulers considered themselves (claim later dismissed) as successors to the crown of the Eastern Empire, hence the subsequent adoption of the title of ” Tsar ” (“Cesar”) and the double headed eagle of the Imperial House of the Paleologos which by decree N°2050 of the 30 November 1993 President B.N. Yeltsin restored as historical symbolism of the Russian Federation to be considered as the State Coat of Arms.
Prince Henry Constantine III, titular head of the Paleologue Dynasty, was born in Italy and is married with Francoise Andree Jacqueline Faure.
He served his country’s valiantly, receiving the nomination of Honorary Military Officier.
During the Second World War he distinguished himself through his courage and brilliant strategy.
As a loyal supporter of the Royal Family, Prince Henry accepted the abdication of Vittorio Emanule III in favour of his son Umberto II which took place in May 1946.
The 2nd June 1946 saw the first parliamentary elections in Italy with universal suffrage for the Constituent Assembly and a referendum to choose either a Monarchy or a Republic.
H.R.H. Umberto II appointed Prince Henry III as Commander of a military unit, with headquarters in the City of Milan (home of Prince Henry) and which was to intervene in support of the Monarchy should the result of the referendum be uncertain or achieved by predictable vote rigging.
12.717.923 votes were cast for the Republic,
10.719.284 for the Crown.
King Umberto II protested violently and threatened to invalidate the referendum, but following consultation with his advisers, the King, always respectful of the democratic choices of his people and anxious to avoid the useless shedding of Italian blood, withheld armed intervention and went to live in exile in Portugal.
Since then the Prince Henry III has traveled widely and taken up residence in many parts of the world, including Morocco (Tangier), Germany (Munich), Spain (Madrid), Portugal (Lisbon), . United States (New York), Great Britain (London) and France (Cannes) where he has his principal residence.
A keen student of economics, politics and literature, he gives, most of his time as a patron of cultural and scientific achievements.
His House has founded, among others, the PaLeologus Award” which is conferred each year, during the International Congress of the Keratorefractive Society of the United States, to the best researcher in the field of the ophthalmology.
One of the first to receive this award was the famous Dr. Fjodorov, who was the first to use the laser beam to eliminate the myopia.
The Imperial Byzantine Award is conferred annually on those people who have distinguished themselves in the field of philanthropy and humanitarian aid.
Prince Henry III and his Dynastic Orders are also noted for the support given to the American Cancer Society, the International Red Cross (he is one of very few people who have been given the highest decoration of this worthy Institution, the Medal of the Founder Henri Dunant), the Institute of St. Anthony of Padua, the Missionary Fathers Saveriani, the Charitable Work of the Orthodox Church, the Nuns of Mother Teresa of Calc6tta, the Community Chest Fund of Malta, the Little Sisters of the Poor of Malta, the Dar Tal-Providenza of Malta (a big center for disabled people) and many other Orphanages Hospitals and Institutes which have been given aid of all kinds including numerous ambulances for transporting patients.
Prince Henry III has also founded the “International Academy of Scientific and Artistic Research” with centers in Paris, Brussels and New York, the “International University,” based at that time in the International Jurisdiction of Tangier (Morocco), the “Cross Legion”, the first aid in natural disasters, the “Gold Cross” for Medical Aid.
His work has been recognized and appreciated throughout the whole world and many States, outside the sphere of the Orthodox Church, have conferred on him important honours.
The City of Athens has awarded him its Gold Medal and he has been named Honorary Governor, Secretary of State and Honorary Colonel of many American States, as well as Honorary Citizen of many cities.
His efforts for world peace have resulted in the awards, among others, of the “Peace Prize” and the “Prize for Peace and Justice”.
Each year he promotes, in various cities of the world, the famous “Imperial Byzantine Ball”, whose proceeds are donated to local charitable works and to Institutes of researches.