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The Order of the Dutch Lion was established by King William I in 1815 and is the oldest civil decoration of the Netherlands. The reigning Dutch monarch is the Grand Master of the Order.
The Order is conferred upon Dutch citizens in recognition of exceptional contributions to the state and public life in the Netherlands. Recognised merits include contributions to the nation made through civil service, excellent cultural works including art, music, and literature, and important scientific research. It may also be conferred upon foreigners, however this is rare.
There are three classes in this order. There was once a medal for 'Brothers' however, it had not been conferred since 1960 and was abolished in 1994. The decorations are meant to be returned to the state following the death of a member.ber.
The Commander Breast Star features an obverse inscription that translates to "Virtue Ennobles."
There may be additional versions that differ in manufacturer or composition.
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