Andrew Bertie

Andrew Bertie

Infobox Monarch
name =Fra' Andrew Bertie
title =Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta

caption =78th Prince and Grand Master
reign =11th April 1988 - 7th February 2008
coronation =
othertitles =
full name =Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie
predecessor =Fra' Angelo de Mojana, 77th Prince and Grand Master
successor =Fra' Matthew Festing, 79th Prince and Grand Master
suc-type =
heir =
queen =
consort =
spouse 1 =
spouse 2 =
spouse 3 =
spouse 4 =
spouse 5 =
spouse 6 =
issue =
royal house =Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (SMOM)
dynasty =
royal anthem =Ave Crux Alba (Hail, White Cross)
father =Lt. Cdr. Hon. James Bertie, of the Earls of Abingdon
mother =Lady Jean Crichton-Stuart, of the Marquesses of Bute
date of birth =15th May 1929
place of birth =
date of death =7th February 2008
place of death =Rome, Italy
date of burial =16th February 2008
place of burial =Church of Santa Maria del Priorato, Aventine Hill, Rome, Italy|

Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie (May 15, 1929 - February 7, 2008) was the 78th and first British Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta since 1258, serving for nearly 20 years from 1988 until his death in 2008.

His full title was "His Most Eminent Highness Fra Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Most Humble Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ". [ [ Ampleforth College obituary] ] He never married and had a younger brother. He was the fourth cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II. [By common descent from King George III and his wife Charlotte Sophia.]

Early career

Fra Andrew was born in London, the son of the Hon. James Bertie (son of the Montagu Arthur Bertie, 7th Earl of Abingdon) and Lady Jean Crichton-Stuart (the daughter of the John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute). He was educated at the English Roman Catholic public school, Ampleforth College, and graduated in Modern History from Christ Church, Oxford. He also attended the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. From 1948 to 1950 he carried out military service in the Scots Guards, becoming a commissioned officer in 1949. After a short experience in the commercial sector, he taught modern languages (particularly French and Spanish) for twenty-three years at Worth Abbey School, a Benedictine public school in Sussex, England.

78th Grand Master, the Order of Malta

Fra Andrew was admitted to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) in 1956; he took Perpetual Vows and in 1981 became a Religious memberclarifyme|date=April 2008. He also joined the government of the Order in 1981 as a member of the Sovereign Council and in April 1988 he was elected the 78th Grand Master. He was Hospitaller of the Sanctuary of Lourdesclarifyme|date=April 2008. He succeeded the late Fra Angelo de Mojana, the Milanese nobleman who had served the Order as Grand Master since 1962 and accomplished a great deal of modernization to the organization.

Although it is considered sovereign, the Order of Malta is also a religious order of the Catholic Church, so Bertie's election needed the ratification of Pope John Paul II, which was obtained on 11 April 1988.

Fra Andrew described the aims of the Order as “to help the poor and the sick; that is and always has been our primary aim”:

*“The other military orders were there to fight the Saracens and to save Spain or the Holy Land or Prussia from the pagans. But we always had this special commitment to the poor and the sick. Our aims today are exactly the same as they were in 1099, the sanctification of our members through service to the sick”.

Fra Andrew Bertie did not marry and had no children. He died in Rome on February 7, 2008.

References and notes


* [ Order of Malta site]
* [ Times of Malta: Grandmaster of Knights of Malta dies in Rome]
* [ The Times: Fra' Andrew Bertie obituary]
* [ The Telegraph: Fra' Andrew Bertie obituary]
* [ The Times: The Order of the Knights of Malta let in the daylight]
* [ International Herald Tribune: Knights of Malta Grand Master dies in Rome]
* [ Njegoskij Fund Network: The Order of Malta into mourning: Fra’ Andrew Bertie, in memoriam]

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