Mexican Imperial Orders
There were three Imperial Orders of the Mexican Empire, created to reward those subjects loyal to the Monarchy during the two periods of the Mexican Empire – the Order of Guadalupe, the Order of the Mexican Eagle, and the Order of Saint Charles.
All three were abolished after the fall of the Second Mexican Empire and the execution of Maximilian I in 1867. Today, Article 12 of the Constitution of Mexico bans the creation and award of titles of nobility and other hereditary honours. Additionally, Article 37 strips Mexican citizenship from those who accept titles that require allegiance to a foreign government or monarch. Foreign awards that do not require allegiance to a foreign government can be accepted after being approved by the Mexican Congress.
Order of Guadalupe
The Order of Guadalupe (originally: "National Order of Our Lady of Guadalupe") was established by Emperor Agustín I of Mexico in the fall of 1821, although its statutes would not be published until February 1822. It was originally divided into two classes: Grand Cross and Numerary Member. After the death of the Agustin I, the Order fell out of use and remained inactive for 30 years until Antonio López de Santa Anna convinced Pope Pius IX to recognize it in 1854. It fell into disuse again in August of that same year after the successful Ayutla Revolution and the ousting of Santa Anna from government.
The third and last period of the Order began on June 30, 1863, before the arrival of Maximilian I, by decree of the Provisional Imperial Government. Maximilian I modified the statutes of the Order for the last time on April 10, 1865, renaming the order "Imperial" (instead of "National") and divided it into four ranks, each with civilian and military divisions:
- Grand Cross, limited to 30 recipients.
- Grand Officer, limited to 100 recipients.
- Commander, limited to 200 recipients.
- Knight, limited to 500 recipients.
Order of the Mexican Eagle
The Imperial Order of the Mexican Eagle was created by Maximilian I on January 1, 1865. It consisted of two classes: the Superior Class only available to Heads of State, awarded a Grand Cross with Collar; and the Ordinary Class, consisting of the following ranks:
- Grand Cross
- Grand Officer
The award survives partially (in name at least) in the modern Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle.
Imperial Order of Saint Charles
The Imperial Order of Saint Charles was created by Maximilian I on April 10, 1866. It was awarded exclusively to women who excelled in the service of their community. The Order honoured Saint Charles Borromeo, Patron Saint of Empress Carlota, sovereign of the Order. It was divided into two classes: the Grand Cross, awarded to only 24 Ladies; and the Cross, without any limit upon the number of women who might receive it.
Some Ladies Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Charles include:
- Elizabeth of Bavaria, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary (Sissi), consort of Franz Joseph I of Austria, Charlotte's sister-in-law
- Marie Henriette of Austria, Queen of Belgium, consort of Leopold II of Belgium, Charlotte's sister-in-law
- Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily, former Queen of France, consort of Louis Philippe I, Charlotte's maternal grandmother
- Queen Isabella II of Spain
- Amélie of Leuchtenberg, Empress Dowager of Brazil, 2nd consort of Pedro I of Brazil
- Teresa Cristina of the Two Sicilies, Empress of Brazil, consort of Pedro II of Brazil
- Leopoldina, Infanta of Brazil
- Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Queen of Denmark, consort of Christian IX of Denmark
- Eugenia María de Montijo de Guzmán, Empress of France, consort of Napoleon III
- María Manuela Kirkpatrick de Closebrun, Countess of Montijo y de Teba, Empress Eugénie's mother
- Princess Anne Murat, Duchess of Mouchy, daughter of Prince Napoleon Lucien Charles Murat
- Maria Pia of Savoy, Queen of Portugal, consort of Luís I of Portugal
- Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Queen de Prussia, consort of futur William I, German Emperor
- Victoria, Princess Royal, Royal Princess of Prussia, consort of future Frederick III, German Emperor
- Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark), Empress of Russia, consort of Alexander III of Russia
- Amalie Auguste of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony, consort of John of Saxony
- Josephine of Leuchtenberg, Queen Mother of Sweden & Norway, consort of Oscar I of Sweden
- Louise of the Netherlands, Queen of Sweden & Norway, consort of Charles XV of Sweden
- Gertrudis Enríquez y Sequera de Suárez de Peredo Hurtado de Mendoza, Countess del Valle de Orizaba, her Chamberlain's wife.
- First Mexican Empire
- Second Mexican Empire
- Imperial Crown of Mexico
- Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Mexican nobility
- Royal Ark: Royal and Ruling Houses of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas
- Encuentra.com: The Popes and the Virgin of Guadalupe - in Spanish
- This article draws heavily on the corresponding article in the Spanish-language Wikipedia, which was accessed in the version of August 21, 2005.