Order of Civil Merit, Grand Cross
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The Order was founded by Ferdinand IV and awarded to citizens and foreigners for meritorious civil service that demonstrated loyalty to the sovereign and furthered their goals.
This Order was originally founded as a category within the unofficial Order of Civil and Military Merit, which was established following the annexation of Tuscany into the Kingdom of Sardinia. Ferdinand IV issued a Decree on November 9, 1861, that divided the categories of civil merit and military merit into separate Orders.
It is an unofficial Order.
If the Grand Cross or Grand Officer grades were conferred upon a non-noble they were bestowed with hereditary nobility.
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