Since the 18th century members of The Order of Saint Joachim have appeared in uniform. The original 1768 Statutes of the Order of Jonathan, Defenders of the Divine Providence, describes a uniform of “celestial blue”, with chest and cuffs “the colour of fire”. Epaulettes were silver and a mantle was worn also in celestial blue. A hat with a white feather completed the uniform. By the time of the publication of the 1787 Statutes and Rules of the renamed Order of Saint Joachim, the uniform of the Order had changed from “celestial blue” to “gray-green” with silver epaulettes bearing green embroidered crosses denoting rank.
By 1800, the Order’s uniform had changed again, as described by the Order’s Vice Grand Chancellor Sir Levett Hanson GCJ in 1802:
“The Uniform worn by the Grand Master, consists of a Waist coat and small cloaths of superfine white cloth; the coat is of superfine Scarlet cloth, lined with white; the cuffs and collar, are of dark, green Velvet; the buttons are white; and thereupon, a green cross pattée is engraved, according to the rules of Blazonry. The coat is distinguished with two silver Epaulettes embroidered, and adorned with a green cross pattée. The Grand Master has four such crosses, upon each Epaulette; the Grand Commanders, three; the Commanders, two, and the Knights, one. The Sword is decorated with a Knot of green and Silver. The Grand Master wears his Hat bordered with a point D’Espagne of Silver, and adorned with a white Feather. During the Assembly of the general Chapter, and on all days of Solemnity, the Grand Master, the principal Members of the Chapter, and such Knights as then reside at the Court of the Grand Master, appear in Boots and Spurs, and carry a Cane, à la Millitaire; and, in their Hats, which are plain, they wear a green Cockade, and likewise an Aigrette, or plume of green and white Feathers.”
Reproduced here is a colourized illustration of the uniform of the Order of Saint Joachim (“Ordine di S. Gioacchino”) from the 1841 book “Iconografia Storica Degli Ordini Religiosi e Cavallereschi” by Gaetano Giucci.
At one time wearing the Order’s uniform was mandatory when attending Order events or visiting the Grand Master on business. Today, all members of the Order of Saint Joachim, from the rank of Postulant, are entitled to wear the uniform of the Order. Purchasing the uniform of the Order of Saint Joachim is however optional. There is also a military style cap and a green mantle lined in red, but they are not commonly worn.
The Order of Saint Joachim has maintained the traditional uniform of 1802 with slight modifications for modern wear. The body of the uniform of the Order of Saint Joachim is a short jacket in scarlet with off-white lapels and lining. Lapels can be in either the same material as the body of the jacket, or in satin/silk. The collar is rifle or dark green, and the green velvet cuffs are no longer worn.
The cut is similar to British regimental dress kit. The lapels are peaked and without button holes. The front is open with a button and chain fastener, with six buttons on the body and four buttons on each sleeve. There is no outside pocket. Buttons are gold or brass with the arms of the Order. Trousers are black and straight-legged, worn high at the waist in the style of cavalry trousers and without a belt. They may be worn with or without rank stripe. The vest and shirt are in white and in plain or piqué material. Bow tie is in either white or black cotton or silk. Shoes are black, highly polished or patent leather, or military-style square-toed dress boots with optional spurs for members of the rank of Knight and above.
Female members of the Order may wear the uniform jacket as described above, with either trousers or black medium length skirt. If a skirt is worn, there are no rank stripes.
For summer or tropical wear, members of the Order may substitute a plain white short mess jacket for the red jacket. The white jacket will also have The Order’s buttons and shoulder boards.
Members may, by choice, wear any insignia/badge of the Order up to their entitled rank on the uniform, as may be appropriate to the occasion. Members of the Order of Saint Joachim may also wear the insignia of other Orders on the uniform, provided no other Order’s neck decorations are worn and no other Order’s medals and decorations are worn in precedence to those of The Order of Saint Joachim.