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Order of the Dannebrog, Breast Star with Grand Cross

The Order of the Dannebrog ( ) is an Order of Denmarkmarker, instituted in 1671 by Christian V. It resulted from a move in 1660 to break the absolutism of the nobility. The Order was only to comprise 50 noble Knights in one class plus the Master of the Order, i.e. the Danish monarch, and his sons. In 1808, the Order was reformed and divided into four classes, with the ranks:

  • Grand Commander class — wears the badge with diamonds on a necklet (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies), plus the star on the left chest;
  • First Order class
    • Grand Cross — wears the badge on a collar or on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
    • Commander 1st Degree — wears the breast cross on the left chest, plus (for gentlemen) the badge on a neck ribbon;
  • Second Order class
    • Commander — wears the badge on a neck ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies);
    • Knight 1st Degree — wears the badge on a ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies) with rosette on the left chest;
  • Third Order class
    • Knight — wears the badge on a ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies) on the left chest.

There is also a Cross of Honour.

The Grand Commander class is reserved to persons of princely origin, with not more than seven holders at any one time. It is only awarded to Royals with close family ties with the Danish Royal House who already possesses the Grand Cross. The statute of the Order was amended in 1958 by a Royal Ordinance so that both men and women could be members of the Order.

Today, the Order of Dannebrog is a means of honouring and rewarding the faithful servants of the modern Danish state for meritorious civil or military service, for a particular contribution to the arts, sciences or business life or for those working for Danish interests.


The collar of the Order is made of gold, with Dannebrog crosses alternating with crowned cyphers representing Kings Valdemar II Sejr and Christian V; when the collar is worn the sash is not worn.

The badge of the Order is a white and red-enamelled Dannebrog cross, for the Knights in silver and for everyone else in gilt. The cross hangs upon the crowned monogram of the bestowing monarch. On its front, the cross bears the crowned monogram of Christian V as well as the motto of the Order: Gud og Kongen (God and the King). On the reverse, the crowned monograms of Valdemar II Sejr, Christian V and Frederik VI, as well as the years 1219, 1671 and 1808, their years of ascending the Danish throne. In each of the four angles of the cross a royal crown has been placed.

The star of the Order is an eight-pointed silver star with the Dannebrog cross (as for the badge but without the crowns and monograms above and between the arms of the cross) at the centre, so that the bottom point of the star is obscured.

The breast cross of the Order is similar to the badge but with faceted silver instead of white enamel, and without the crowns and monograms above and between the arms of the cross.

The ribbon of the Order is white with red borders, the national colours of Denmark.

Cross of Honour

The Dannebrogordenens Hæderstegn (Cross of Honour of the Order of the Dannebrog) is awarded to Danes on whom the Order of the Dannebrog has already been bestowed. It is also worn by the individual members of the royal family. Its badge is similar to the badge of the Order, but all in silver, and is worn on a ribbon (gentlemen) or bow (ladies) with rosette on the left chest.

The insignia of the Order must be returned upon the death of the holder.

Grand Commanders


  1. Official website of the Danish monarchy De kongelige ridderordener

See also

External links

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