Order of the Dutch Lion

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Star to the Grand Cross, Grand Cross, Commander, Knight's Cross (from above to below)

The Order of the Dutch Lion was founded on September 29, 1815 by King Wilhelm I and is the highest civilian order of merit in the Netherlands . The Grand Master is the incumbent monarch who makes the appointments under the responsibility of the competent Council of Ministers .

This medal can be bestowed on individuals with exceptional service to the community. This medal is mainly awarded to artists, scientists and successful athletes. The Grand Cross class is reserved for heads of state and royal princes after they have reached the age of 18.

Order classes

The Order of the Dutch Lion has three classes:

A fourth class, the Brotherhood of the Order, had expired in 1994 and was canceled.

Order decoration

The order decoration is an eight-pointed gold-rimmed St. John's cross made of white enamel . The cross tips have small golden balls. Between the arms is the letter "W" in gold. The round center shield is in blue enamel on both sides and is set in a gold border. One side shows the upright Dutch lion in gold. The other side shows the motto of the order "Virtus nobilitat".

Ribbon and way of wearing

The ribbon is dark blue and has an orange stripe on each side. The way of wearing is in the buttonhole for knights, as a neck medal for the commanders and the Grand Cruisers wear it as a sash over the right shoulder to the left hip side.


  • Paul Ohm Hieronymussen: Handbook of European Orders in Color. Universitas Verlag, Berlin 1966. p. 127.

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