David Bolton Receives Spanish Knighthood at El Presidio
Photos: Fritz Olenberger
Source: Royal Order of Isabel La Catolica
David Bolton, executive director of the California Missions Foundation and a 50 year resident of Santa Barbara, has officially entered Spain’s Royal Order of Isabel la Católica as a following an elaborate ceremony at the historic El Presidio Real de Santa Barbara.
In front of a throng of family, friends, and colleagues, Mr. Bolton became a Commander of the Royal Order, one of Spain’s highest civilian honors. Ambassador Javier Vallaure, Spain’s Consul General in Los Angeles, presided over the ceremony and presented Mr. Bolton with both the official Decoration signed by his majesty, King Felipe VI, as well as the Medal and ribbon of the Royal Order.
“This is a truly great honor, and I share it with everyone that continues the effort to recognition Spain’s legacy in the Americas and to also help preserve the buildings, culture and traditions the Spanish people and their descendants have left on this side of the Atlantic,” said Mr. Bolton, who also serves as a board member for the Washington DC-based US-Spain Council and Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
Following the decoration ceremony in front of the El Presidio Chapel, guests were invited inside for a candlelight gala dinner. The event coincides with Santa Barbara’s Founding Week activities that mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Santa Barbara Presidio and town in 1782.
The Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spanish: Orden de Isabel la Católica ) is a Spanish civil order granted in recognition of services that benefit the country. The Order is not exclusive to Spaniards, and it has been awarded to many foreigners. The Order was created on 14 March 1815 by King Ferdinand VII of Spain in honor of Queen Isabella I of Castile with the name of "Royal and American Order of Isabella the Catholic" with the intent of "rewarding the firm allegiance to Spain and the merits of Spanish citizens and foreigners in good standing with the Nation and especially in those exceptional services provided in pursuit of territories in America and overseas." The Order was reorganized by royal decree on 26 July 1847, as the modern "Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic" with a broader focus than the Americas.
The King of Spain (currently Felipe VI) is Grand Master of the Order. The Chancellor of the Order is the Minister of Foreign Affairs. All deeds granting decorations of the Order must bear the signatures of both. Members of the order at the knight and above enjoy personal nobility and have the privilege of adding a golden heraldic mantle to their coat of arms. Knights at the rank of commander and commander by number receive the style of "His or Her Most Illustrious Lord".