The Order of the Crown is an Order of Belgium which was first created in the year 1897. The Order of the Crown was created under the authority of Leopold II of Belgium and was originally intended to denote heroic deeds and service achieved while serving in the Congo Free State - many of which acts soon became highly controversial. In 1908, the Order of the Crown was made a national decoration of Belgium, junior to the Order of Léopold and awarded for any service to the Belgian state.
The Order of the Crown is also eligible for bestowal to foreign nationals and is frequently awarded to military and diplomatic personnel of other countries stationed in Belgium. During the Second World War, the Order of the Crown was extensively authorized to Allied military personnel who had helped to liberate Belgium from Nazi Germany occupation.
The Order of the Crown is awarded in five classes, plus two palms
and three medals:
- Grand Cordon, which wears the badge on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
- Grand Officer, which wears a star on the left chest, and may also wear the neck badge;
- Commander, which wears the badge on a neck ribbon;
- Officer, which wears the badge on a ribbon with rosette on the left chest;
- Chevalier, which wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Golden Palm, which wears a wreath of golden palms on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Silver Palm, which wears a wreath of silver palms on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Gold Medal on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Silver Medal on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Bronze Medal on a ribbon on the left chest.
of the Order is a white-enamelled "Maltese Asterisk" (for want of a better description - see Maltese Cross
) with straight rays, in silver for the Chevalier class and in gold for the higher classes. The obverse central disc has a gold crown on a blue enamel background; the reverse central disc has the face-to-face monogram "L" (for King Leopold II) on a blue enamel background. The badge is suspended on a green-enamelled wreath of laurel
The Star of the Order is a ten-pointed star of alternate golden straight rays and silver faceted rays for the Grand Cordon class, and a silver faceted "Maltese Asterisk" with golden straight rays between the arms for the Grand Officer class. Both stars have the obverse of the badge, minus the wreath suspension, at the centre.
The Ribbon of the Order is plain maroon.
Order of the Crown (Belgium) recipients