National Order of the Leopard
|National Order of the Leopard|
|Awarded by Democratic Republic of the Congo|
Ribbon bar of the order (DR Congo)
Ribbon bar of the order (Zaire)
The National Order of the Leopard is the highest honorific decoration of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was instituted on 24 May 1966 in the ordonnance-law n° 66-330 by the President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. Its rewards the high military or civil merits rendered to the Republic.
The President of the Republic is the Grand Chancellor of the Order. Its administration is in the care of the Chancellor.
The National Order of the Leopard is composed of five grades :
- Grand Cordon
- Grand Officer
Grand Cordons :
- Emperor Akihito of Japan
- Elizabeth II
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- Juan Carlos I of Spain 
- Queen Sofía of Spain
The funerals of late King Baudouin of Belgium are remembered in two ways :
- Elizabeth II exceptionally attended the funerals, which she rarely does.
- A famous "incident" happened about honorific orders. By some mistake of Buckingham Palace services, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh has worn the sash of his Grand Cordon of "National Order of the Leopard" instead of the highest Belgian Order he was awarded, the Grand Cordon of Order of Leopold, as protocol would have required. See this photo illustrating the fact ...