LOS ANGELES – Brigitte Kruse, founder of the Los Angeles based, world-record-breaking Kruse GWS Auctions, has become the first auctioneer knighted by a royal family.
In a ceremony filled with traditions and poise, Principe Lorenzo de’ Medici of the Italian royal family conferred on Brigitte Kruse the title of Cavaliere— the Italian equivalent of an English knighthood—and as an additional honor and distinction, named her an “Ambasciatore delle Arti” (Ambassador of the Arts).
The knighting took place at Rome’s historic San Silvestro al Quirinale, whose origins date back to the 11th century. Church clerics and Principe Lorenzo de’ Medici presided over the stunning ceremony. The church was also filled with guests from around the world. The dual accolades recognize Kruse’s outstanding work globally on behalf of charitable causes. Her distinguished, forward thinking leadership within the auction and appraisal industry, has set a new global standard.
As part of the ceremonial proceedings, Kruse read an oath where she promised to continue to give back and to uphold the highest standards. During the ceremony she was anointed with the blade of a ceremonial sword and then adorned with the knight’s robe. To earn this honor, Kruse had to first be nominated by a member of the de’ Medici family and then win approval from the rest of the House of Medici and the Cavaliere board. Kruse was selected because she has represented 16 royal families. She is respected around the globe as a distinguished lady in the auction business.
Kruse was recognized for her global philanthropy and leading-edge advances in auctioneering
An ambassador of the auction industry, Kruse is the first female auctioneer to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, and now, the first to attain knighthood. The fashionable, multilingual auctioneer can conduct professional auctions in five languages.
Phil Michaelson, CEO of LiveAuctioneers, commented: “Brigitte is known and respected throughout the auction industry as a woman of exceptional talent and foresight. She’s a high achiever who’s always among the first to find ways to make new technologies work for her consignors. But above all else, she is admired for her charitable work, especially where children are involved. No one is more deserving of recognition or of the knighthood she has received.”
Brigitte Kruse is set to receive another honor — the Multicultural International Motion Picture Association’s Lady in Red Diamond Rose Award — for her philanthropic works. The organization’s 11th annual gala will take place on February 21, at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
A fierce advocate for children with autism, she has raised millions of dollars to provide services and research. Kruse and her husband have also donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and MusiCares. Along with her husband Mike Sislyan, Kruse regularly visits orphanages for disabled children in high-conflict zones around the world, delivering food, toys, medications and clothing.
“I am beyond humbled by such an honor. The de’ Medici Royal Family bestowed a monumental honor upon me and for that I will always be thankful,” said Brigitte Kruse. “I am so very privileged to do the work I do and to be recognized in such a magnificent ceremony and accolade in Rome was a moment I will truly never forget.”
During most of the period from 1434 to 1737, the powerful de’ Medici family dominated Italy’s political, religious and cultural landscape, ushering in the Renaissance and serving as patrons of artists and scientists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. Today, the de’ Medici family remains an influential force in business and the arts and humanities. The de’ Medici Royal Family had three Popes in power and remains one of the most influential royal families in the entire world. As a part of her responsibilities and oath to the Cavaliere, Brigitte Kruse will feed the homeless with the Pope each year in Rome, during the holidays. This is what she says she looks forward to the most, because she wishes to take her children and family.
About Kruse GWS Auctions, Inc.
Kruse GWS Auctions is the world-record breaking auction house specializing in Hollywood memorabilia, fine jewelry, luxury timepieces, Royal artifacts, affluent estates. Kruse GWS Auctions also created what is now known as “Runway Fashion Show Auctions.” Founder and fifth-generation auctioneer Brigitte Kruse was the first woman auctioneer to set a Guinness World Record. She is also a member of the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council. The auction house has been featured in press around the globe and has sold such notable items as Elvis Presley’s personal jet, Marilyn Monroe’s black wool dress, Marlon Brando’s Rolex watch, a royal family owned one-of-a-kind, diamond-encrusted Rolex, Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s mobile home, and much more.
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