The 39 Clues

Cahill

<
The encyclopedic guide to useless facts on the internet.
  • article
  • comments
  • links

Order of the Golden Fleece

*Warning: This article does not even meet ILikeUselessFacts.net’s standards of accuracy. It may contain errors, inaccuracies, or blatant lies.



The Order of the Golden Fleece is a chivalric order (You mean for knights? Speak English!) founded in 1430 by Duke Philip III of Burgundy. At that time, Philip had the grandest court in Europe. Which meant he had the BEST art and the SHINIEST bling! Philip started the Order so he could give titles and honors to powerful nobles throughout his kingdom and ensure their loyalty. Yeah, ’cause in those days, it was really easy to off the king. Philip was a duke, not a king. Whatever. All I’m saying is that they didn’t have secret security.

At first, the Order was limited to Philip’s twenty-four most trusted advisers. Over the years, the distinguished honor was given to many more, including Henry VIII of England, Philip II of Spain, and Louis XIV of France. Louis XIV was so proud of being in the Order of the Golden Fleece that he had one of his crown jewels, the French Blue Diamond, set in a pendent he created for the Order. The French Blue was later renamed the Hope Diamond. There are some crazy stories about it! I heard that Louis used the knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece to protect the diamond. There was something really special about it. Yeah. It was ENORMOUS. No, I think it hid some sort of secret. Weird!

In 1700, the Order was divided into the Austrian Order and the Spanish Order following the split in the Hapsburg royal family. Some say the Austrians didn’t want to be a part of the Order because it was becoming a secret spy organization. No one is sure when exactly, but sometime in the 1600s, a powerful dynasty took control of the Order and began to use it for themselves. Ok, now you just sound crazy.

Today King Juan Carlos I of Spain is the head of the Spanish Order, and Karl Hapsburg-Lothringen is head of the Austrian Order. I bet they have sick parties.