Decorations and medals of the Netherlands

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Throughout the ages hundreds of medals, decorations for merit or valour and orders of knighthood have been instituted by the successive governments of the Netherlands. The oldest of these were founded by the counts of Holland. Their successors of the House of Burgundy founded the famous Order of the Golden Fleece. This order still exists in Spain and in the Austrian imperial House.

The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands did not possess an order of knighthood. Instead so called "Beloningspenningen", golden medals on golden chains, were given as gifts to ambassadors and successful admirals.

In 1781 a medal called the "Doggersbank-medaille" was awarded to the officers that partook in the battle of the Doggersbank against the English fleet. It was the first modern Dutch decoration.

The Batavian Republic was founded after the French invasion of 1795. It did not institute an order or medals.

The Kingdom of Holland was founded in 1805 to provide a throne for Napoleon's younger brother Lodewijk Napoleon Bonaparte. The "King of Holland" founded an "Orde van de Unie", (English: Order of the Union, later dubbed "Order of Holland" then "Royal Order of Holland").

The first king of the Netherlands William I of the Netherlands founded a military order the Military Order of William, and a civilian order and the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

His successors founded several orders of merit and some two hundred medals, stars and crosses. The Netherlands never founded a colonial order for their Indian empire.

Decorations and medals[edit]

Other approved medals[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Literature and sources[edit]

  • W.F. Bax, "Ridderorden, eereteekenen, draagteekens en penningen, betreffende de Weermacht van Nederland en Koloniën (1813-heden)", 1973
  • H.G. Meijer, C.P. Mulder en B.W. Wagenaar, "Orders and Decorations of the Netherlands", 1984
  • C.H. Evers, "Onderscheidingen", 2001
  • J.H. van Zelm van Eldik, "Moed en Trouw", 2003
  • O Schutte, De Orde van de Unie", 1985