Austrian-Imperial Leopold Order
The order consisted of four classes:
Emperor Franz I founded the order on the day of his engagement to Maria Ludovika Beatrix of Modena , who was to become his third wife. It had previously been considered to name the order Rudolfsorden (after Rudolf von Habsburg ) or Franzensorden (after the founder), in the end the emperor decided on the name of his father Emperor Leopold II.
The last recipient, Ernst Graf von Silva-Tarouca , received the decoration on November 11, 1918, a few hours before Emperor Charles I renounced his share of state affairs. After the end of the monarchy in Austria in 1918, the order was no longer awarded.
Appearance and wearing style
The insignia of the order is an octagonal red enameled cross with paws framed in white . The entwined letters are in the obverse middle medallionFIA( Franciscus Imperator Austriae ), from the order's mottoIntegritati et Merito( For righteousness and merit ) is surrounded. In the lapel the order shows the motto Leopold II.,Opes regum corda subditorum( The deeds of the kings win the hearts of the subjects ) surrounded by an oak wreath . The crosses of the first edition from 1808 show three oak leaves in the cross angles until 1818, which were later removed. The hanging of the insignia on the ribbon is the Austrian imperial crown (so-called house crown of Emperor Rudolf II ) with two waving ribbons.
The ribbon of the Leopold Order is light red with a white border; at the cross I class - light red with white side stripes.
Ordinary knights wore the insignia on a triangular ribbon on the left side of the chest, commanders on the ribbon around their necks . Holders of the Grand Cross or Cross I Class wore the insignia on a wide shoulder band and a breast star. The silver order star is eight-pointed and carries the order cross in its center.
On special occasions, holders of the Grand Cross wore the regalia of the Leopold Order with an order chain . This consists of 16 golden, entwined initialsF. and L., above which the Austrian imperial crown is attached and between which 16 oak wreaths are integrated.
By decree of January 23 and February 23, 1860, the so-called "war decoration" was created for people who received the Leopold Order for services acquired immediately before the enemy. This consisted of two crossed upwardly curved laurel branches under the imperial crown.
In the course of time, additional decorations were created for the Leopold Order. From December 13, 1916, gold or silver swords could be placed between the arms of the Order's cross and on the star. The gold signifies the acquisition of the current grade with war decorations and swords, the silver ones indicate that the war decoration had been acquired at a lower grade.
The Grand Cross of the Order could also be awarded with diamonds as an expression of the highest favor . From 1808 to 1918 55 people received this award.
Nobility and privileges
Until 1884, subjects of the countries ruled by the Habsburgs were awarded the Knight's Cross of the Leopold Order and raised to hereditary knighthood . The bearers were given the addition "Knight of" to their previous name. Recipients of the commander's cross were entitled to be raised to the hereditary baron class . The award of the Grand Cross brought the privy council title with the salutation "Excellency" and membership in the court . On August 24, 1884, automatic ennoblement was deleted from the statutes of the Leopold Order (decree of the Imperial and Royal Ministry of the Interior ), as well as those of the Order of the Iron Crown .
The ruling monarch acted as grand master of the order .
Abbreviations in the official calendar
In the official calendar and in the military schematics , the acronym ÖLO was used for the Leopold Order, which was extended with R (for knight), K (for commander), GK (for grand cross) or KD (for war decoration). For swords an additional black is added. Example: ÖLO – K KD Schw.
- Military Order of Maria Theresa
- Royal Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen
- Order of the Iron Crown
- Franz Joseph Order
- List of Austrian orders and decorations (ranking of awards)
- Christian Ortner , Georg Ludwigstorff: Austria's medals and decorations. Part I: The imperial-royal orders until 1918 , Verlag Militaria , Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3-902526-81-6 .
- Austrian Society for Religious Orders (Ed.): 200 years of the Austrian Imperial Leopold Order. Graz 2008
- Johann Stolzer, Christian Steeb: Austria's order from the Middle Ages to the present. On behalf of the Austrian Society for Religious Studies. Academic printing and Publishing house. Graz 1996, ISBN 3-201-01649-7 , pp. 135-145.
- Václav Měřička : Orders and decorations of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Vienna and Munich 1974.
- Roman Freiherr von Procházka : Austrian Order Handbook. I – IV., Munich 1974.
- Order of the Leopold on religious orders
- Imperial-Austrian order with the right to a higher rank to Collegium rerum nobilium Austriae
- Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. KuK War Ministry: Military Schematism of the Austrian Empire . From the kk Hof- und Staats-Druckerei., 1850 ( read online in the Google book search).