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Grand Cross is the highest class in many orders, and manifested in its insignia. Exceptionally, the highest class may be referred to as Grand Cordon or equivalent. In other cases, the rank of Grand Cross may come after another even higher rank, e.g. Grand Collar. In rare cases, solely the actual insignia is referred to as the "grand cross".
In the United Kingdom, the rank entails admission to knighthood, allowing the recipient to use the honorific title "Sir" (male) or "Dame" (female) as a style before his or her name, while entitled "Knight Grand Cross" or "Dame Grand Cross". This stands in contrast to the typical practice in other countries where knighthood is conferred at the initial, lowest rank of the order, typically "Knight".
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)
- France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour (highest)
- Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 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
- Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Saint James of the Sword (2nd)
- Tunisia: Grand Cordons of the Nichan Iftikhar (highest)
- 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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