Knights of the Australian Lieutenancies wear a ceremonial uniform comprised of a cape and beret. The cape is of white ivory cloth, full cut, reaching to approximately 10 cm below the knee, with a short, turned over collar held by a gold chain or other suitable closure. The cape bears the Cross of the Order in scarlet cloth on the left breast below the shoulder. There is no other closure, and the cape hangs somewhat open from the collar closure down.
The beret is of black velvet and has a large, soft, draping crown. The headband is winged and also covered with black velvet. It is raised upward on the right front side to a height of 12 cm. On this raised portion is a patch indicating rank: for Knights, a cross on a shield of silver braid; for Knights Commander, the shield is enclosed in a single circle of gold braid; for Knights Commander with Star, two circles of gold braid; for Knights of the Grand Cross, the shield is surrounded by a garland of olive leaves embroidered in gold.
The beret is worn with the emblem of rank on the right forehead midway between the eye and ear. The crown is given a little tug to the opposite side to seat the beret properly upon the head.
The cape and beret are worn at all ceremonies, indoors and out, when requested by the Lieutenant or Grand Prior. During Mass, the beret is removed only at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer and is replaced after the ablutions. A convenient reminder for the doffing and replacing of the beret is the time when such bishops as are in attendance, or celebrating, remove and replace their zucchettos.
For any ceremonial occasion, the cape will normally be worn over evening dress, dinner dress or over a plain dark suit as specified by the Lieutenant. For all occasions notification of the type of dress required will be made prior to the date of the ceremony. Casual or sporting type clothing or shoes are never appropriate on any occasion when the cape is to be worn.
Dames of the Order wear a full-cut, ankle-length black cape. The cape has a short self collar, usually worn upright. It is fastened at the throat by a tie or frog of black silk braid. The Order's scarlet cross, bordered with gold, is placed on the left breast of the cape below the shoulder. The cape is worn over a long dark dress for formal occasions, with black gloves, which may be long or short depending on the sleeve length of the dress. When wearing the cape, the head is always covered with a black veil or mantilla (See Figure B). For informal ceremonies the cape may be worn over a short or long dress, with dark, preferably black, shoes.
Knights and Dames do not wear the insignia of rank or other decorations on the outside of the cape, with the sole exception of the Pilgrim Shell. Tradition holds that this most important decoration may be worn by those Knights and Dames who have earned it, on the outside of the cape, centered on the red felt cross of the Order.
The Pilgrim Shell is the most special decoration of the Order, and may be awarded by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. This decoration consists of a scallop shell, the ancient badge of a pilgrim, in oxidized silver, in the centre of which is placed the cross of the Order in red fired enamel bordered with gold. It is usually worn with evening dress and full decorations, placed above all other decorations. As previously noted, it is the only decoration to be worn on the outside of either the Dame's or Knight's cape.
The Pilgrim Shell can be earned by any Knight or Dame of the Order in good standing, who makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and prays at the Holy Sepulchre of our Risen Lord. Members of the Order who are planning private pilgrimages to the Holy Land should request in advance that the Lieutenant make arrangements for having this most important decoration awarded to them.
It is also customary for those who possess the Pilgrim Shell to wear it at any meeting of the Order.