Order of the White Eagle, Collar
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The Order of the White Eagle was established by King Augustus II in 1705. It was abolished following the Third Partitioning of Poland in 1795 and was not awarded again until 1807 when it was revived by the Duchy of Warsaw. It was awarded from 1815-1831 by Tsar Alexander I ruling as King of Poland before it was taken over by the Russian Empire in 1831. It was not awarded again until 1921 following the restoration of Polish independence. From 1941-1992, it was awarded by the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile, and it was officially reinstated as the highest order of the Polish Republic in 1992.
The Order is conferred upon Polish citizens and foreigners in recognition of outstanding contributions to the nation. It may also be awarded posthumously. The President of the Republic is Grand Master.
The Collar was worn by the Grand Master of the Order from 1705-1831, but it has not been used since the Order was restored in 1921.
The first Collar was worn until 1764, and the second was created for the coronation of Stanisław August Poniatowski in the same year. The second Collar features alternating links of 12 crowned eagles and 12 medallions with the image of the Virgin Mary. It resides in the collection of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, but it is missing its badge appendant.
The later decorations are listed in the Orders of the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939) and the Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile (1939-1989), and the Third Polish Republic (1989-). See also the Order of the White Eagle in the Orders of Imperial Russia (1721-1917).
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