Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius
The Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius is an award conferred by the Republic of Bulgaria.
It has had three incarnations :
- first on 18 May 1909 by the Kingdom of Bulgaria,
- second on 13 December 1950 by the People's Republic of Bulgaria (but called the Order of Cyril and Methodius),
- finally on 29 May 2003 by the current Republic of Bulgaria.
The Royal Order
|Royal Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius
царски Поръчка на Кирил и Методий
|Awarded by The King of the Bulgarians|
|Royal house||House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Koháry|
|Religious affiliation||Bulgarian Orthodox|
|Eligibility||The Bulgarian Monarch and Heir
Foreign Heads of State
|Status||Rarely currently constituted|
|Sovereign||King Simeon II|
|Grades||Knight Grand Cross with Chain|
|Next (higher)||None (Highest)|
|Next (lower)||Royal Order of Saint Alexander|
The ribbon of the Order
The Order was established on 18 May 1909 by Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (grandfather of current formerly-King Simeon II), the first Grand Cross of this order to be awarded to the highest state officials.
It consisted of one class: Grand Cross, represented by a Collar, a Sash and a Breast-star.
The collar of the members is gilded-silver and alternately shows a standing, crowned lion facing left and a fleur-de-lis.
The ribbon of the Order is pale orange.
The badge of the Order is a gilded Byzantine cross enameled in light blue. In the cross angles, green enameled beams are mounted, on each of which is a stylized lily. In the medallion resting figures of Saints Cyril and Methodius are seen standing side by side. The medallion is edged with a golden ring on the blue enameled inscription "EX ORIENTE LUX" (light coming from the east).
Former King Simeon II of Bulgaria considers this version of the order to be his dynastic order and wears it - from left shoulder to right hip - on official occasions such as the wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden and Daniel Westling (Photos 1, 2)
Order of Cyril and Methodius (1950)
|Order of Cyril and Methodius|
1st Class Order of Cyril and Methodius
|Awarded by People's Republic of Bulgaria|
The People's Republic of Bulgaria instituted the Order of Cyril and Methodius (the word Saints was dropped under the communist regime). It was awarded as an honour in the fields of science, culture, or painting
It consisted of three classes: First class, Second class and Third class
The prize is a round medal with red or blue enamel background. It shows the image of the Saints in relief. In the left side, Cyril, who holds a scroll with the first four letters of the Cyrillic alphabet in the hands. Slightly offset to the right behind Methodius with a Bible under his arm. one five-pointed star is seen on the top of the medal, hanging from a light-blue ribbon.
- First class: gold medal with red enamel.
- Second class : gold medal with blue enamel.
- Third class : silver medal with blue enamel.
The medal is worn on the left chest.
The Republic of Bulgaria (2003)
|Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius|
|Awarded by President of Bulgaria|
|Awarded for||merits in the fields of art, science, educationa and culture.|
|Next (higher)||Order of Stara Planina|
|Next (lower)||Order of Civil Merit
Order of Military Merit
The Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius was reinstated on 29 May 2003 as the second order of the republic after the Order of Stara Planina and is awarded for merit in the fields of art, science, education and culture.
There are three grades: Collar, 1st Class (Officer) and 2nd Class (Knight) 
The order's insignia is inspired by the shape of the tsarist era:
- The medal of the first two grades is a silver-plated Byzantine cross with gilded-silver edges, the 3rd grade is only totally silver-plated.
- The flames in the cross angle are no longer subject to a lily
- On the reverse, instead of the crowned cipher names, the national colors of the country can be found.
The ribbon of the Order is orange