Definitions

sash-ribbon

Order of the Black Eagle

The Order of the Black Eagle (Hoher Orden vom Schwarzen Adler) was the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. The order was founded on January 17, 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg (who became Friedrich I, King in Prussia the following day). The order became obsolete with the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last Prussian king, in 1918.

Overview

The statutes of the order were published on January 18, 1701 and revised in 1847. Membership in the Order of the Black Eagle was limited to a small number of knights, and was divided into two classes: members of reigning house (further divided into members of the House of Hohenzollern and members of other houses, both German and foreign) and capitular knights. Before 1847, membership was limited to nobles, but after that date, capitular knights who were not nobles were raised to the nobility (Adelstand). Capitular knights were generally high-ranking government officials or military officers.

The Order of the Black Eagle had only one class, but could also be awarded at the king's prerogative "with the Chain" ("mit der Kette") or without ("ohne Kette"). By statute, members of the order also held the Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle, and wore the badge of that order from a ribbon around the neck. From 1862, members of the Prussian royal house, upon award of the Order of the Black Eagle, also received the Prussian Crown Order 1st Class.

Insignia

The badge of the order was a gold Maltese cross, enameled in blue, with gold-crowned black eagles between the arms of the cross. The gold center medallion bore the royal monogram of Friedrich I ("FR" for Fredericus Rex).

The badge was worn from either a sash ribbon or chain. The ribbon of the order was an orange moiré sash worn from the left shoulder to the right hip, with the badge resting on the hip. The chain (Kette) of the order was worn around the neck, with the badge suspended from it. It featured 24 interlocking links, alternating a black eagle and a device featuring a center medallion with the motto Suum Cuique (literally "To each his own," but idiomatically "To each according to his merits."), a series of FRs forming a cross pattern, a blue enameled ring around this, and crowns at each cross point.

The star of the order was a silver eight-pointed star, with straight or faceted rays depending on the jeweler's design. The center medallion featured a black eagle on a golden background, surrounded by a white enameled ring bearing a wreath of laurels and the motto of the order, Suum Cuique. The eagle gripped a wreath of laurels in its left claw and a scepter in its right.

At meetings of the chapter of the Order of the Black Eagle, a red velvet cape with blue lining was worn, featuring an embroidered star of the order on the left shoulder.

Recipients

From its founding in 1701 to 1918, the Order of the Black Eagle was awarded 407 times, with 57 of these during the reign of Friedrich I (1701-1713). In 1918, the order had the following numbers of members: 14 members of the Prussian royal house, 1 member of the Princely House of Hohenzollern, 49 members of other reigning houses (including 9 from states then at war with Germany), and 54 domestic members (of which 17 had not yet been fully inducted into the order).

From the Prussian State Handbooks, it can be deduced that all male members of the royal family were conferred with the Order of the Black Eagle (and the other orders, by statute, as mentioned above) on their tenth birthdays. They received the collar of the Order upon their eighteenth birthdays. The reigning Prussian queens (and later, the German empresses) were also conferred with the Order. Other female members of the royal family were usually conferred with the Order of Louise.

Sovereigns and Masters of the Order

  • Friedrich I of Prussia (1657 - 1713) - founder of the Order of the Black Eagle; last Elector of Brandenburg and first King of Prussia
  • Frederick William I of Prussia (1688 - 1740) - first member of the Order, inducted in 1701, when he was crown prince; Sovereign and Master of the Order, 1713 - 1740
  • Friedrich II (1712 - 1786) - "Friedrich the Great"; Sovereign and Master of the Order, 1740 - 1786
  • Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia (1744 - 1797) - Sovereign and Master of the Order, 1786 - 1797
  • Frederick William III of Prussia (1770 - 1840)- King of Prussia during the Napoleonic era; Sovereign and Master of the Order, 1797 - 1840
  • Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia (1795 - 1861) - Sovereign and Master of the Order, 1840 - 1861
  • Wilhelm I (1797 - 1888) - King of Prussia and first German emperor; Sovereign and Master of the Order, 1861 - 1888
  • Friedrich III - better remembered as "Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm" of Prussia; general during the German wars of unification; briefly German emperor, March to June 1888; Died of throat cancer
  • Wilhelm II (1859 - 1941) - last King of Prussia and last German emperor; Sovereign and Master of the Order, 1888 - 1918

Royal House of Hohenzollern

  • August Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia (1722 - 1758) - second son of Friedrich Wilhelm I; brother of Friedrich II ("Friedrich the Great"); father of Friedrich Wilhelm II; Prussian general in the Silesian Wars
  • Heinrich, Prince of Prussia (1726 - 1802) - third son of Friedrich Wilhelm I and younger brother of Friedrich the Great; general in the Seven Years' War
  • August Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia (1730 - 1813) - fourth and youngest son of Friedrich Wilhelm I, and youngest brother of Friedrich the Great
  • Ludwig Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia (1772 - 1806) - son of August Ferdinand; general in the Napoleonic Wars, killed at the Battle of Saalfeld
  • Ludwig Karl, Prince of Prussia (1773 - 1796) - second son of Friedrich Wilhelm II and brother of Friedrich Wilhelm III
  • Kaiserin Augusta (1811 - 1890)- Princess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, wife and empress consort of Wilhelm I
  • Karl, Prince of Prussia (1801 - 1883) - third son of Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, father of Friedrich Karl and Albrecht
  • Adalbert, Prince of Prussia (1811 - 1873) - son of Prinz Wilhelm; Grandson of Friedrich Wilhelm II and nephew of Friedrich Wilhelm III; naval teorist, admiral, and founder of the first Prussian Fleet
  • Friedrich Karl, Prince of Prussia (1828 - 1885) - veteran of the Austro-Prussian War and Franco-Prussian War; hero of Königgrätz; Generalfeldmarschall of Prussia, and honorary Field Marshal of Russia; eldest son of Karl, father of Friedrich Leopold
  • Albrecht, Prince of Prussia (1809 - 1872) - second and youngest son of Karl, father of Albrecht
  • Heinrich, Prince of Prussia (1862 - 1929) - second son of Friedrich III and brother of Wilhelm II; Grand Admiral in the German Imperial Navy, World War One
  • Kaiserin Victoria (1840 - 1901) - "Kaiserin Friedrich"; Daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Royal of Great Britain; wife and Empress consort of Friedrich III; mother of Wilhelm II; Dowager German Empress and Queen Dowager of Prussia, 1888 - 1901; recognized by Friedrich III, March 9, 1888
  • Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria (1858 - 1921) - Princess of Schleswig-Holstein, (first) wife and empress consort of Wilhelm II
  • Kronprinz Wilhelm (1882 - 1951) - Crown Prince of Germany and Prussia until 1918, World War One-era German general.
  • Friedrich Leopold, Prince of Prussia (1865 - 1931) - son of Friedrich Karl, father of Friedrich Sigismund, Friedrich Karl, and Friedrich Leopold
  • Albrecht, Prince of Prussia (1837 - 1906) - only son of Albrecht
  • Friedrich Heinrich, Prince of Prussia (1874 - 1940) - eldest son of Albrecht and grandson of Albrecht
  • Joachim Albrecht, Prince of Prussia (1876 - 1939) - second son of Albrecht and grandson of Albrecht
  • Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia (1880 - 1925) - third son of Albrecht and grandson of Albrecht
  • Eitel Friedrich, Prince of Prussia (1883 - 1942) - second son of Wilhelm II
  • Adalbert, Prince of Prussia (1884 - 1948) - third son of Wilhelm II
  • August Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia (1887 - 1949) - fourth son of Wilhelm II
  • Oskar, Prince of Prussia (1888 - 1958) - fifth son of Wilhelm II
  • Waldemar, Prince of Prussia (1889 - 1945) - eldest son of Prince Heinrich, Grand Admiral
  • Joachim, Prince of Prussia (1890 - 1920) - sixth and youngest son of Wilhelm II
  • Friedrich Sigismund, Prince of Prussia (1891 - 1927) - eldest son of Friedrich Leopold; World War One pilot
  • Friedrich-Karl, Prince of Prussia (1893 - 1917) - second son of Friedrich Leopold; Bronze medalist in the 1912 Olympics; World War One pilot; wounded in action, taken POW, and died of wounds (1917)
  • Friedrich Leopold, Prince of Prussia (1895 - 1959) - third and youngest son of Friedrich Leopold
  • Sigismund, Prince of Prussia (1896 - 1978) - second and youngest son of Prince Heinrich, Grand Admiral
  • Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia (1906 - 1940) - eldest son of Crown prince Wilhelm

Princely House of Hohenzollern

Foreign Royals

Knights

Current usage

The Order of the Black Eagle is currently used as the emblem of the German Military Police (Feldjäger).

References

  • Robert Werlich, Orders and Decorations of all Nations (Quaker Press, 2nd edition 1974).
  • Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat für das Jahr 1874, (Berlin, 1873)
  • Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat für das Jahr 1883, (Berlin, 1882)
  • Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat für das Jahr 1907, (Berlin, 1906)
  • Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat für das Jahr 1918, (Berlin 1918) (herein "1918 Prussian State Handbook")
  • Preußische Orden (herein Preußische Orden)

Notes

Search another word or see sash-ribbonon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature