Orders, decorations, and medals of the Netherlands

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In the Dutch honours system, most orders are subject to ministerial responsibility or influence of the Netherlands. The house orders, however, are awarded at the discretion of the Dutch monarch alone.

Throughout the ages hundreds of medals, decorations for merit or valour and orders of knighthood have been instituted by the successive governments of the Netherlands. The oldest of these were founded by the counts of Holland. Their successors of the House of Burgundy founded the famous Order of the Golden Fleece. This order still exists in Spain and in the Austrian imperial House.

The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands did not possess an order of knighthood. Instead so called "Beloningspenningen", golden medals on golden chains, were given as gifts to ambassadors and successful admirals.

In 1781 a medal called the "Doggersbank-medaille" was awarded to the officers that partook in the battle of the Doggersbank against the English fleet. It was the first modern Dutch decoration.

The Batavian Republic was founded after the French invasion of 1795. It did not institute an order or medals.

The Kingdom of Holland was founded in 1805 to provide a throne for Napoleon's younger brother Lodewijk Napoleon Bonaparte. The "King of Holland" founded an "Orde van de Unie", (English: Order of the Union, later dubbed "Order of Holland" then "Royal Order of Holland").

The first king of the Netherlands William I of the Netherlands founded a military order the Military Order of William, and a civilian order and the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

His successors founded several orders of merit and some two hundred medals, stars and crosses. The Netherlands never founded a colonial order for their Indian empire.

Orders of chivalry[edit]

National orders of chivalry[edit]

Royal house orders[edit]

Other officially recognised orders of chivalry[edit]

The Kingdom of the Netherlands officially recognizes the following orders of chivalry:[1]

Royal Commemorative Medals[edit]

  • Queen Wilhelmina Investiture Medal 1898.gif Queen Wilhelmina Inauguration Medal, 1898
  • Wedding Medal of Queen Wilhelmina and Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 1901
  • Royal Wedding Silver Medal, 1926
  • Honor Guard Commemorative Medal, 1933
  • Royal Wedding Medal 1937..gif Wedding Medal of Princess Juliana, Princess of Orange and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, 1937
  • Queen Juliana Investiture Medal 1948.gif Queen Juliana Inauguration Medal, 1948
  • Silver Wedding Anniversary Medal of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, 1962
  • Royal Wedding Medal 1966.gif Wedding Medal of Princess Beatrix and Claus van Amsberg, 1966
  • Queen Beatrix Investiture Medal 1980.gif Queen Beatrix Inauguration Medal, 1980
  • Netherlands Antilles Visit Medal, 1980
  • Royal Wedding Medal 2002.gif Wedding Medal of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta, 2002
  • King Willem-Alexander Investiture Medal 2013.gif King Willem-Alexander Inauguration Medal, 2013
  • Commemorative Medal for State Visits

Decorations and medals[edit]

Other approved medals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Dutch Honours System" (PDF). http://lintjes.nl/. Chancellor of the Dutch Orders. Retrieved 15 October 2012.  External link in |work= (help)

Literature and sources[edit]

  • W.F. Bax, "Ridderorden, eereteekenen, draagteekens en penningen, betreffende de Weermacht van Nederland en Koloniën (1813-heden)", 1973
  • H.G. Meijer, C.P. Mulder en B.W. Wagenaar, "Orders and Decorations of the Netherlands", 1984
  • C.H. Evers, "Onderscheidingen", 2001
  • J.H. van Zelm van Eldik, "Moed en Trouw", 2003
  • O Schutte, De Orde van de Unie", 1985

External links[edit]