House Order of the Golden Lion, Cross (1858-1866)
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The Order was jointly instituted as a House Order by Duke Adolph of Nassau and King William III of the Netherlands, and Grand Duke of Luxembourg. It was established to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the House of Nassau splitting into two branches, and the original aim of the Order was to support unity between the two Houses.
The Order originally only featured a single class, but on 13 March, 1873, King-Grand Duke William III extended it to include four classes. In 1882, a fifth class was added.
Duke Adolph did not consent to any of the changes made by William III, and refused to award the new grades. After William III’s death in 1890, Adolph inherited the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Adolph abolished the four additional grades that had been added, and the Order was once reduced to a single grade.
In 1905, Grand Duke Adolph made an agreement with Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to once again share the Order between the two ruling Houses of Nassau.
The Order continues to be awarded in both the Netherlands and Luxembourg. It has been conferred upon many foreign sovereigns and Heads of State for rendering meritorious service to Luxembourg or the Netherlands.
The Decorations awarded in the Netherlands and Luxembourg were produced by A. Moussault, Amsterdam and J.M.J Wielik, The Haag. Other manufacturers include G.F. Rothe, Vienna and Arthus Bertrand, Paris.
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