THE HEREDITARY OFFICERS OF THE PAPAL COURT
The Papal Court was reformed by the Bull Pontificalis Domus of 1969. This abolished the role of the old Roman nobility at the Papal Court with the exception of the position of Prince Assistant to the Papal Throne. This position had been shared jointly by the Princes Orsini and Colonna, but the former was deprived by Pius XII after obtaining a divorce and the title was conferred upon Prince Torlonia, Prince of Fucino, Canino and Musignano. Unlike the Colonna and Orsini families whose origins can be traced back to the first millenia when they were powerful Roman potentates, the Torlonia were 18th century converts from Judaism. The Prince Assistants are representatives of the Roman Nobility, who serve "at the feet of the Throne" immediately next to the Cardinal Deacon who stands to the right of the Pope. They alternate office during their lifetimes and no-one can substitute for them. Their principal function is to serve on the occasion of official visits by a Head of State. The reforms also changed the names and abolished the differing categories of "Secret Chamberlains of the Cape and Sword" to Gentlemen of His Holiness. They also included the following offices whose titles and their present holders (the offices themselves were abolished) is given below (in order of precedence):
Hereditary Prince Assistants to the Papal Throne (Prince Don Alessandro Torlonia, Prince of Fucino etc - present holder; Prince Don Marcantonio Colonna, Prince and Duke of Paliano, Duke of Mariano etc - alternate);
Marshal of the Holy Roman Church and Sacred Conclave (Prince Don Sigismondo Chigi-Albani della Rovere, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Farnese, Campagnano, and Soriano, Duke of Ariccia and Formello, etc.
Grand Master of the Sacred Apostolic Hospice (Prince Alessandro Ruspoli, Prince of Cerveteri).
Hereditary Foriere Maggiore - Quartermaster General (Marquess Giulio Sacchetti, Marques of Castel Romano, who is now the highest ranking laymen in the Vatican service as "Delegate of the State of the City of the Vatican").
Hereditary Cavallerizzo Maggiore - superintendant of the stables of the Palaces - (Marquess Dr Gregorio Serlupi Crescenzi - a Roman Psychologist)
Hereditary Superintendant of the Posts (Prince Don Filippo Massimo, Prince and Lord of Arsoli, Duke of Anticoli Corrado).
Keeper(s) of the Golden Rose destined for Members of Royal Houses: (not hereditary):
The Papal Guards:
Captain Commander of the Noble Guard: not hereditary, but always a Roman Prince with the rank of Lieutenant General (last holders included Princes Altieri, Aldobrandini, Barberini, Rospigliosi).
Hereditary Standard Bearer of the Holy Roman Church, with the rank of Lieutenant-General (Marquess Patrizio Patrizi Naro Montoro, Marquess of the Baldacchino).
Commandant of the Palatine Guard: not hereditary