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Grand Cross is the highest grade in many orders of knighthood. Sometimes the holders of the highest grade are referred to "commanders grand cross"[A 1], "knights grand cross" or just "grand crosses"; in other cases the actual insignia itself is called "the grand cross".
Alternatively, in some other orders, the highest grade may be called the "grand cordon", "grand collar" etc. In those cases the rank of grand cross may come after another rank (e.g. the Portuguese Order of Saint James of the Sword).
In the United Kingdom the rank entails admission to knighthood (allowing the recipient to use the title 'Sir' (male) or 'Dame' (female) before his or her name). The grand crosses of the various British orders are usually styled "Dame or Knight Grand Cross".
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)
- Egypt: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Nile (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 Rising Sun (highest)
- Japan: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Precious Crown (highest)
- Jordan: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Star of Jordan (highest)
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross Military William Order (highest)
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross Order of the Netherlands Lion (2nd)
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross Order of Orange-Nassau (3rd)
- Persia: Grand Cordons of the Order of the Lion and the Sun
- Tunisia: Grand Cordons of the Nichan Iftikhar (highest)
or was the highest :
- Poland: Grand Cordons of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (highest 1974 to 1991, now Grand Cross)
- 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.
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