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Old 21-02-2010, 03:37 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Glastonbury, UK
Posts: 4,333
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It seems to be widely disputed but the allegation is that Queen Elizabeth is the current "Grand Patroness" of English Masonry.

"Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another"

"By 1730 when the Roman Catholic Duke of Norfolk was installed (prior to the first papal condemnation of Freemasonry in 1738), there had been nine Grand Masters, six of them nobles. The first royal Grand Master was the Duke of Cumberland, younger son of George II, who was installed in 1782, with an Acting Grand Master, the Earl of Effingham as his proxy. In 1787 both the Prince of Wales (the future George IV) and his brother William (the future William IV) were initiated. The patronage by the Royal Family of the new secret society was thenceforth assured. Queen Elizabeth II is the present Grand Patroness."

- Stephen Knight, The Brotherhood
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