The Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch is an Order of Freemasonry, administered in England by the Supreme Grand Chapter. Unlike all the other Orders 'beyond the Craft', the Supreme Grand Chapter is closely linked to the United Grand Lodge of England and shares its administrative systems.
When a Freemason has attained the rank of a Master Mason he is then entitled, after a period of one month, to be exalted into a Royal Arch Chapter and is then referred to as a Companion.
Royal Arch Chapters meet independently of Craft Lodges, however most Chapters are associated with their founding Lodges and carry the same number, as is the case with Telephone Chapter 3301.
Chapter regalia differs somewhat from that of a Craft Lodge. It still consists of an Apron, but this has a distinctive red and blue surround. Companions also wear a red and blue sash and a special Breast Jewel which Royal Arch Masons can also wear in their Craft Lodges to illustrate the bond that exists between Craft and Royal Arch.
The ritual of the Royal Arch, like that of Craft Lodges, takes the form of allegory. It helps to channel the attention of the Companions, without challenging or conflicting with their individual religious beliefs.
Each Royal Arch Chapter is comprised of a number of Officers with specific titles and duties, the most important of these being the three Principals who together rule the Chapter for one year. As with Craft masonry, an Installation meeting is held annually, at which time a new team of Officers is invested.
In London, the Metropolitan Grand Chapter administers the London Chapters in the same way that Metropolitan Grand Lodge does so for Craft Lodges. The Metropolitan Grand Superintendent is Russell Race.
The Supreme Grand Chapter oversees the affairs of the Royal Arch throughout England and Wales, and officers are appointed at an Annual meeting. HRH The Duke of Kent is the First Grand Principal.