Prestonian Lecture 2022

Delivery of the

Prestonian Lecture


The Royal Family and Freemasonry
by Dr John W. Hawkins

Tuesday 11th May, 2023

Delivery of the current Prestonian Lecture, which has been specially commissioned by Grand Lodge, being held in Quatuor Coronati Lodge on Tuesday 11th May, 2023 at 4pm in Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London.

Full details for booking are on the lodge web site at HERE  with dining currently across the road in our private room at the Hercules Pillars.

Unusually, so that ladies and non-masons can attend this highly topical presentation on the Royal Family’s connection with Freemasonry, the delivery will commence after the lodge has been formally closed.

Before and during our short lodge meeting, visitors may care to go on one of the public guided tours of the amazing building and its contents – see:  HERE  for bookings.

209 years since the Union of the Premier and Antient Grand Lodges to form the United Grand Lodge of England, a member of the Royal Family has been its Grand Master for more than 150.

The Union itself in 1813 was facilitated by the heads of the two constituent Grand Lodges both being Royal Princes – the brothers the Dukes of Sussex and Kent.

Prior to the Union, members of the Royal Family had already been Grand Masters of the Premier Grand Lodge for over 30 years.

The royal connection goes back even further than this, with Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales and eldest son of King George II, having been initiated in 1737.

The present Duke of Kent has been Grand Master of the Craft since 1967 and Prince Michael of Kent Grand Master of the Mark since 1982.

This lecture discusses not only those members of the Royal Family whose contributions to the Craft remain well-known today, of whom King Edward VII and the Duke of Connaught are examples, but other members who are now less well remembered, such as the ill-fated Dukes of Albany and Clarence.

Members of the Royal Family who were not Freemasons nonetheless supported its charities and recognised its force for good, so that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, are not omitted.

The author has been provided with unprecedented access to the archives of United Grand Lodge and has also drawn on material from the Royal Archives at Windsor and contemporary news reports.

Source: Prestonian lecture material

About the Author


Dr John Hawkins is an independent researcher and author with interests in art, family, local, masonic, military and social history, having published in most of these areas and others.

Softback, viii + 88 pp; 24 plates (8 in colour)
£20.00 incl. p&p. (UK) / £25.00 incl. p&p. (overseas)

Copies are available from the author:

Article by: Hugh O'Neill

Hugh O'Neill

Past Master of Craft lodges under the constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England.

Member (Master 2022-2023) of Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076,  the world’s premier Masonic research lodge.

Masonic historian and orator on Masonic topics.


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