Civil Merit Order of St. Louis, II Class Knight
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The Order was initially an Order of the Duchy of Lucca by Charles Louise. He later became Charles II, Duke of Parma, following the death of Duchess Maria Luigia of Habsburg.
The Order originally featured three classes and was strictly a civil award. The Parma branch of the Order was expanded by his son, Charles III, Duke of Parma, on August 11, 1849, to reward extraordinary merit within civil and military services and have five grades.
Membership to the Order was primarily restricted to noble Catholics but was open to Protestants in cases of extreme merit.
When a non-noble became the recipient of the Grand Cross or Commander grades they were bestowed with hereditary nobility. If they were the recipient of the I Class or II Class Knight grade, they were only granted with personal nobility that was withdrawn following their death.
The Grand Master of the Order, who was always the Duke of Parma, was the only member of the Order who was permitted to add brilliants to their awards.
The maximum membership numbers for each grade excluded reigning princes and foreigners.
The II Class Knight was restricted to a maximum of 80 members and features a surmounting silver-coloured crown.
The II Class Knight is also known as IV Class.
See the Civil Merit Order of St. Louis in the Orders of the Duchy of Lucca for more information.
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