Order of Dannebrog, I Class Commander Breast Star
Image courtesy of Historische Sammlung aller Ritterorden der verschiedenen Nationen, A.M. Perrot
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Believed to have originally been established by King Waldemar II in 1219, and later re-instituted by King Christian V, in honour of the birth of his first son (King Frederik IV) in 1671, this Order originally consisted of one class and was conferred upon noblemen, princes of royal blood, and high dignitaries. There is no evidence of this Order being established by King Waldemar II, although the current decorations continue to consist of his cypher as well as the year 1219. This Order was revised by King Frederick VI in 1808, adding four new classes, and was then awarded to any Danish man, without restrictions to age or his rank. In 1842, the rank of the Grand Commander was declared as a special class, that was only awarded to members of the Royal house. In 1861 the Commander class of the Order was divided into two grades: with and without breast star. The Knight class was also divided into two grades in 1952: the Gold Cross and Silver Cross. Over the years, this Order has been awarded to different individuals for numerous reasons. To date, the Order is awarded to recognize individuals who have rendered outstanding, commendable, and distinctive military or civil service, as well as, contribution to the sciences, arts, or business.
Reformations to this Order have all contributed to the many versions of each award. All crosses of the Order are surmounted by the monogram of the monarch who granted it, this excludes the original badge before 1801.
Women were admitted to this Order in 1951 and wear badges on a bow, where as men wear it on neck ribbons.
The Order insignia is returned to the throne upon death.
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