Since 1759, the position of Constantinian Grand Master has passed by strict male primogeniture among the descendants of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies.

Although all Constantinian Grand Masters from 1759 to the present have been members of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies, the Constantinian Order is not a chivalric order of the House of the Two Sicilies but is instead a dignity separate and independent from the House of the Two Sicilies – the inheritance of the heir of the Farnese dynasty. The Constantinian Order is subject to the authority of the Holy See, and its character as a religious order with an hereditary grand master (a position based in canon law) has been repeatedly confirmed by Popes from the 16th to the 20th centuries.  (See the response above to the question “How is the Grand Master chosen?”).