Grand Cross

Grand Cross is the highest class in many orders, and manifested in its insignia.[1] Exceptionally, the highest class may be referred to as Grand Cordon or equivalent. In other cases, there may exist a rank even higher than Grand Cross, e.g. Grand Collar. In rare cases, the insignia itself is referred to as the "grand cross".

Josef Graf Radetzky wearing the Grand Cross's star and the sash of the Military Order of Maria Theresa

In international relations, in many times the class of Grand Cross is typically reserved for royalty, heads of state and equivalent. Sometimes a holder of the highest class or grade are referred to as "Commander Grand Cross",[A 1] "Knight Grand Cross", or just "Grand Cross".

In the United Kingdom, the rank of "Knight Grand Cross" or "Dame Grand Cross" allows the recipient to continue to use the honorific "Sir" (male) or "Dame" (female) as a style before his or her name. The knighthood is initially conferred, as in other countries, at the lower rank of the order, typically "Knight".

In Bavaria, the royal military order established by Maximilian Joseph consisted of three classes with the Grand Crosses ranking above the Commanders and Knights.[3] The Grand Cross title has also been used to confer military merit. For instance, the Grand Duchy of Baden awarded Prince Rupprecht a Grand Cross after World War I.[4]

From 1870 to 1918, the German Empire also set the Grand Cross as the highest rank of the Order of the Iron Cross, followed by the first and second classes.

Denomination "Grand Cordons"

The orders in which the highest rank (or second after "Collar") is named "Grand Cordons" include the following orders:

  •  Belgium: Grand Cordons of the Order of Leopold (highest)
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit (highest National Order that admits Brazilian Nationals to its ranks)
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of Rio Branco (special purpose)
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the National Order of Scientific Merit
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of Defense Merit
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of Naval Merit
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of Aeronautical Merit
    •  Paraná: Grand Cross of the State Order of Pinheiro (highest of the state)
    •  São Paulo: Grand Cross of the Order of Ipiranga (highest of the state)
  •  Cameroon: Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit (Cameroon) (2nd)
  •  Cameroon: Grand Cordon of the Order of Valour (highest)
  •  Denmark: Grand Cross with Diamonds of the Order of the Dannebrog (2nd)
  •  Egypt: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Nile (highest)
  •  France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour (highest)
    •  French Polynesia: Grand Cross of the Order of Tahiti Nui (highest of the overseas collectivity)
  •  Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  •  Guinea: Grand Cross of the Kola-tree National Order (2nd)
  •  Guinea: Grand Cross of the National Order of Fidelity and People (highest)
  •  Guinea: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit (Guinea) (highest)
  •  Guinea: Grand Cross of the National Order of the Campaign of Independence (highest)
  •  Italy: Knight Grand Cross decorated with Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (highest)
  •  Japan: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Chrysanthemum (2nd after Collar)
  •  Japan: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Precious Crown (highest)
  •  Japan: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Rising Sun (highest)
  •  Jordan: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Star of Jordan (highest)
  •  Lebanon: Grand Cordons of the Order of Merit (Lebanon) (highest)
  •  Madagascar: Grand Cross of the National Order of Madagascar (highest)
  •  Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross Military William Order (highest)
  •  Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross Order of Orange-Nassau (3rd)
  •  Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross Order of the Netherlands Lion (2nd)
  •  Niger: Grand Cross of the National Order (Niger) (highest)
  •  Niger: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Niger) (2nd)
  •  Persia: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Lion and the Sun
  •  Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword
  •  Senegal: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Senegal) (2nd)
  •  Senegal: Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion (Senegal) (highest)
  •  Spain: Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III
  •  Togo: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit (2nd)
  •  Togo: Grand Cross of the Order of Mono (highest)
  •  Tunisia: Grand Cordon of the Order of Independence (highest)
  •  Tunisia: Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit (3rd)
  •  Tunisia: Grand Cordon of the Order of the 7th November 1987 (4th)
  •  Tunisia: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Republic (2nd)

Former

  •  Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of Columbus (Abolished as a state order in 1891)
  •  Empire of Brazil: Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Highest, cancelled as national order in 1890, since then claimed as house order)
  •  Empire of Brazil: Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Saint Benedict of Avis (2nd, cancelled as national order in 1890, since then claimed as house order)
  •  Empire of Brazil: Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Saint James of the Sword (3rd, cancelled as national order in 1890, since then claimed as house order)
  •  Empire of Brazil: Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Cross (4th, cancelled as national order in 1891 and reestablished as the National Order of the Southern Cross in 1932)
  •  Empire of Brazil: Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Dom Pedro I (5th, cancelled as national order in 1890, since then claimed as house order)
  •  Empire of Brazil: Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Rose (6th, cancelled as national order in 1890, since then claimed as house order)
  •  France
    • French Comoros: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Anjouan (Deprecated in 1963 by the National Order of Merit)
    • French Dahomey: Grand Cross of the Order of the Black Star (Deprecated in 1963 by the National Order of Merit)
    • French Somaliland: Grand Cross of the Order of the Light (Deprecated in 1963 by the National Order of Merit)
  •  Kingdom of Hawaii: Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Kapiʻolani (3rd, became obsolete in 1893)

Illustration of typical insignia, as in the case of the Legion of Honour of France.

See also

  • Order of chivalry
  • Order (distinction)
  • Phaleristics

Explanatory notes

  1. The designation (Swedish: Kommendör med stora korset) is used in the Swedish Orders of the Sword, Polar Star and Vasa and in the Finnish Orders of the White Rose and Lion.[2]

References

Footnotes

  1. Hieronymussen, Poul Ohm; Lundø, Jørgen, eds. (1968). Eurooppalaiset kunniamerkit värikuvina [Europæiske ordner i farver] (in Finnish). Translated by Karnila, Christer. Porvoo: WSOY. pp. 14–15. OCLC 466954328.
  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Carlisle, Nicholas (2012). A Concise Account of the Several Foreign Orders of Knighthood: and Other Marks of Honourable Distinction. Dallington, East Sussex: The Naval and Military Press. p. 67. ISBN 9781781514290.
  4. Zabecki, David (2014). Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History [4 volumes]: 400 Years of Military History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 1629. ISBN 9781598849806.
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