SALT LAKE CITY - Today, Governor Gary R. Herbert was honored by the Royal House of Portugal and inducted into The Order of Saint Michael of the Wings as Knight Grand Cross. The award was bestowed upon Governor Herbert by order of the Grand Master, His Royal Highness, Duke of Braganza because of the many Utah citizens actively engaged in causes of the Portuguese Royal Charities.
"This is an honor I happily accept on behalf of those I represent in the great state of Utah who are so willing to contribute and support the Royal Charities," said Governor Herbert. "It demonstrates one of the core values of this state to serve and be charitable, not only here locally, but to our friends around the world."
The presentation of the award of Knight Grand Cross is in accordance with the statutes of the Royal Order of Saint Michael of the Wing and is the oldest Portuguese order of knighthood. It was founded in 1147 by King Afonso I of Portugal to honor a group of knights of the Order of Saint James from the Kingdom of Leon. The knights assisted the king in retaking Santarem from the Moors on the Feast of Saint Michael.
"Receiving the Knight Grand Cross is a distinctive and rare honor," said John Bishop, liaison to the Portugal Delegation. "There are only a handful of individuals worldwide who hold this level of honor. It is an historic occasion for the Governor to receive this honor."
A Portugal delegation was present to witness the knighthood. Those in attendance included His Royal Highness Dom Duarte Pio III, Duke of Braganza; Reverend Father Manuel Antonio Mendes dos Santos, Bishop or the Diocese of Sao Tome and Principe; Major Steven Besinaiz, Order of St. Michael of the Wing; and John C. Bishop.