Order of Saint Isabel, Gold Badge
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On 4 November 1801, the Order of Saint Isabel (Real Ordem de Santa Isabel) was established by Prince D. João VI/John VI of Portugal investing his wife, D. Carlota Joaquina, as Grand Mistress of the Order. It was founded in honor of Queen Saint Isabel, consort of Portugal from 1282 to 1325, and who is venerated as a Saint of the Catholic Church since 1526.
Creating with an unique grade, the Order was conferred exclusively upon Catholic noblewomen with a minimum age of 26 years and who were already married. It was awarded in recognition of meritorious charitable and altruistic actions displayed to help people in need.
By royal decree, the Order was limited to 26 members in total, including national and foreign recipients. However, at the end of the nineteenth century, there were approximately 46 nationals and 136 foreigners members. The insignia had to be returned to the Order once the recipient passed away.
In 1910, following the Republican Revolution, the Order was abolished; since then, it has been awarded by the Braganza family as a dynastic Order independently of the Portuguese government.
By decree, the obverse insignia had to be surrounded by a wreath of roses; however, there are differences due to some manufacturers painted the wreath while others sculpt it.
The Gold Badge features an obverse Latin inscription that translates to "Comfort the Poor," and a reverse inscription that translates to "The Royal Order of Saint Isabella."
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