House Order of Orange, Type I, I Class Knight
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The House Order of Orange was established by Queen Wilhelmina in 1905. It is conferred at the sole discretion of the reigning Dutch monarch in recognition of meritorious service rendered to the Royal House of Orange.
This Order has a complicated history involving changes to grades and regulations. For clarity, it has been classified into two types based on overarching time periods where the award remains consistent. Type I decorations were awarded from 1905-1969, and Type II decorations have been awarded since 1969. The first three years, 1905-1908 presented decorations were awarded in 5 grades, with an additional 2-grade Cross of Merit, 3-grade Medal of Honour, 2-grade Medal for Arts and Science, and Ladies’ Cross. The 1905 design bore the motto on a ring positioned between the arms of the cross. However, these awards were not always manufactured and were not verified.
In 1908, the badge was altered to have the motto encircle the center of the badge, with a wreath of orange leaves occupying each quadrant between the arms. The original knight was also divided into two. Type II decorations were awarded in 6 grades, with an additional 2-grade Cross of Merit, 3-grade Medal of Honour, 2-grade Medal for Arts and Science, 3-grade Medal for Initiative and Medal for Courage and Sacrifice, and Ladies' Cross.
The I Class Knight features an obverse inscription that translates to “I Will Maintain.”
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