House Order of Hohenzollern
The House Order of Hohenzollern was a dynastic order of knighthood of the House of Hohenzollern awarded to military commissioned officers and civilians of comparable status. Associated with the versions of the order were crosses and medals which could be awarded to lower-ranking soldiers. The House Order of Hohenzollern was instituted on December 5,1841 by joint decree of Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and these two principalities in southern Germany were Catholic collateral lines of the House of Hohenzollern, cousins to the Protestant ruling house of Prussia. On August 23,1851, after the two principalities had been annexed by Prussia, the order was adopted by the Prussian branch of the house. Also, although the two principalities had become a region of the Prussian kingdom, the princely lines continued to award the order as a house order. The Prussian version was known as the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. The Princely House Order continued to be awarded, after the fall of the German Monarchy, Prince Karl Antons second son, Karl Eitel Friedrich of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, had become prince and king of Romania as Carol I.
Carol I had died childless and was succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand I and this form of the order existed until the Romanian monarchy was abolished in 1947, King Michael awarded a slightly altered order in exile. The Royal House Order of Hohenzollern came in the classes, Grand Commander Commander Knight Member Member was a lesser class for soldiers who were not officers. The Members Cross, especially swords, was a rare distinction for non-commissioned officers. Another decoration, the Members Eagle was often given as an award to lesser officials such as schoolteachers. The Eagles were solely civilian awards, and could not be awarded with swords, all other grades could be awarded with swords. When awarded with swords it was worn on the ribbon of the Iron Cross, all grades could be awarded with swords. During World War I, the grade of the Princely House Order was often awarded to officers. 40, a regiment raised in the principalities of Hohenzollern. Soldier in the regiments sister reserve and Landwehr regiments received the decoration.
Unlike the Royal House Order, awards of the Princely House Order were made on the ribbon of the order regardless of whether they were with or without swords. As with the Prussian and Hohenzollern versions, crossed swords could be used to indicate a wartime or combat award, the badge of the House Order of Hohenzollern was a cross pattée with convex edges and curved arms
Military Order of Max Joseph
The Military Order of Max Joseph was the highest military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the order came in three classes, Grand Cross Commanders Cross Knights Cross. Individuals who received the order and were not already members of the nobility were ennobled, a Bavarian title of nobility obtained through the Military Order of Max Joseph was valid for the recipients life only. The order became obsolete in 1918 with the collapse of the Bavarian monarchy on Germanys defeat in World War I, the orders chancery continued to process outstanding award recommendations to at least 1922. The badge of the order was a white-enameled gold Maltese cross with balls at each cross point. The center medallion, in blue enamel and edged in gold, featured the monogram of Max Joseph on the obverse, above the cross was a gold crown. The badge of the Knights Cross was much smaller than that of other military orders. It measured 28-mm in width, compared to Bavarias Military Merit Order and it was worn from a ribbon on the officers medal bar ahead of other decorations or, separately worn through the buttonhole.
In 1951, wear of the Knights Cross around the neck, the badge of a Commanders Cross was somewhat larger than the Knights Cross, measuring 38-mm by 55-mm. It was worn from a ribbon around the neck, the Grand Cross was still larger, and had golden rays between the arms of the cross. The star of the order, which came with the Grand Cross, was a silver eight-pointed star. The center of the featured a badge of the order. The ribbon of the order was black moiré with inner white, for recipients of the order who were not already members of the nobility, receipt of the order conferred a patent of nobility. This patent was not inheritable, similar to a knighthood in the United Kingdom, when a recipient was ennobled, his surname name was changed by the addition of the title Ritter von. Thus for example the Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb was born Wilhelm Leeb, such a patent of nobility only applied to Bavarian subjects, non-Bavarians could receive the Military Order of Max Joseph but not use a title because of this.
Thus for example General Erich Ludendorff remained plain Ludendorff, although he was decorated with the Grand Cross of the order in 1916, note that not all Bavarian Ritter von were knights of the Military Order of Max Joseph. The Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown, a high civil honor conferred a patent of nobility. For example, the 1920s-era Minister President of Bavaria Gustav Ritter von Kahr was a recipient of the Merit Order of the Bavarian Crown rather than the Military Order of Max Joseph
Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)
The Order is led by its thirty-seventh Herrenmeister, Prince Oskar of Prussia. Each of its knights, about four thousand men worldwide, is either a Knight of Justice or a Knight of Honor, although membership no longer is limited to the nobility, as it was until 1948, the majority of knights still are drawn from this class. The Order comprises seventeen commanderies in Germany, one each in Austria, France and Switzerland, with the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta, these four Alliance orders represent the legitimate heirs of the Knights Hospitaller. The Order and its orders in the Netherlands and Sweden. The SMOM, headquartered in Rome, admits only men and women of the Roman Catholic faith, in time, these landholdings were gathered into regional administrative divisions known as commanderies, each headed by a senior knight, or knight commander of the Order. The first commandery in the Germanies was founded in the mid-twelfth century, though separated from the Roman Catholic main stem of the Order of Saint John, the Bailiwick of Brandenburg continued to flourish.
Admitting only noblemen, principally from the Germanies, the Bailiwick maintained hospitals and other institutions to care for the poor, the sick, and the injured. The horrific Thirty Years War devastated the Bailiwick, resulting in the deaths of many knights and he established a similarly named order of merit, the Royal Prussian Order of Saint John, in its stead. He announced his election to the head of the Order of Malta, during the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Order created and supported more and more charitable activities. It now owns and operates numerous hospitals, ambulance services, old-age homes, after World War II, with the Neumark given by the victorious Allies to Poland, the Order moved its headquarters to Bonn, West Germany. After the reunification of West and East Germany, the headquarters were moved again, more than location of the seat of the Order changed in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Finnish commandery, remains a purely noble society, as do the now independent Swedish, there are three active classes in the Order, Knight of Justice, and Knight of Honor.
These services are similar to the St. John Ambulance in many Commonwealth nations, all are carried out under the auspices of the Christian faith. Additionally, spiritual retreats and other activities of the Order concentrate on the spiritual formation, the cloak of the Order is plain black with a large, linen eight-pointed cross on the left breast. For most knights, the cloak is black woollen with a plain lining, the cloaks of most knights are closed only at the neck, but the Herrenmeister, Honorary Commanders, and Knights of Justice wear a long black cord called a cingulum. The insignia, known as crosses of honor, are no longer bestowed by the Order automatically, Knights of Honor now must have rendered five years of service to the Order before a cross of honor is granted. Promotion to Knight of Justice requires at least seven years of distinguished service, the basic insignia of the Order is a white-enamelled Maltese cross. Each cross is worn from a black-moire,4. 5-centimeter-wide ribbon worn about the neck, all members of the Order may wear a plain, Maltese cross as a star or breast badge
Order of Saint Hubert
The Bavarian Order of Saint Hubert is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood founded in 1444 or 1445 by Gerhard VII, Duke of Jülich-Berg. He sought to commemorate his victory over the House of Egmond at the Battle of Linnich on 3 November, which is Saint Huberts day. In 1778, Charles Theodore, Duke of Jülich and Berg, the order was open to men and women, although limiting the number of male companions to sixty. It commemorated the conversion of Saint Hubert and his standing as the saint of hunters. Over time, the award had other uses as a reward for loyalty to the monarch, sources agree that the Order of Saint Hubert honors a military victory of the Duke of Jülich, on Saint Huberts day,3 November 1444. Consequently, the date of the founding depends on the source, still other sources date the founding of the Order as late as 1473 or 1475. Twentieth century investigation has helped to clear up some of the confusion, the original Latin statutes of the foundation use Good Friday, in this case 26 March 1445.
Furthermore, there is written evidence that the Order existed prior to March 1445. These remained the governing documents of the Order until 1708, in this confirmation probably lies the root of confusion over the date of the Orders foundation. Initially the Order was a brotherhood, reflecting the overlapping religious. Saint Hubert was the saint of hunters and knights. The founding of the Order of the Golden Fleece in the early 15th century started a trend in confraternal princely orders. The purpose of these, whether established by monarchs or princes, was to foster loyalty to a sovereign, when Reinhold IV, Duke of Gelder, died in 1423, his nephew Arnold inherited the dukedom. Arnolds cousin, Adolf of Berg, inherited territories near Liège, Arnold believed that Adolf had inherited the better of the two properties, and coveted it for himself. He tried to take it by force and failed, a compromise was reached by which the two agreed to a truce. Adolf of Berg died in 1437 and his cousin, Gerhard IV, Arnold reasserted his old claim, maintaining that the truce to which he and Adolf agreed was no longer valid, and prepared to take the duchies by force.
Confident in his right to the inheritance, Gerhard met Arnold in battle, at the village of Linnich and he and his knights defeated Arnold and his knights on Saint Huberts day in 1444. In celebration, Gerhard declared the founding of the Order, to reward his loyal, the Order remained in collateral branches of the family of the Dukes of Jülich and Berg until 1521, when the male line holding the two duchies and the county of Ravensberg became extinct
Order of Saint Elizabeth
The Order of Saint Elizabeth was an all-female chivalric and charitable order in the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was confirmed on the 31st of January 1767, by Pope Clement XII, the Catholic religion and the Seize Quartiers – the proof of noble descent running through sixteen generations of their own or their husband’s ancestors – are indispensable conditions for candidates. The nomination takes place either on Easter or on Saint Elizabeth’s Day, the entrance fee is four ducats. The badge is an enameled cross, representing on one side Saint Elizabeth dispensing charity to the poor, and on the other. It is worn on the left breast by a ribbon with a red border. No Member can appear in public without it, except by fine of one ducat, the King appoints the Grand Mistress. The Orders of Knighthood and Foreign, India, The Catholic Orphan Press,1884
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony, lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire and it became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War I and the abdication of King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. Its capital was the city of Dresden, and its successor state is the Free State of Saxony. Before 1806 Saxony was part of the Holy Roman Empire, an entity which had once aspired to be a single state. The rulers of Electorate of Saxony of the House of Wettin had held the title of elector for several centuries, the last elector of Saxony became King Frederick Augustus I. The Kingdom joined the German Confederation, the new organization of the German states to replace the Holy Roman Empire. This effectiveness probably allowed Saxony to escape the fate of other north German states allied with Austria — notably the Kingdom of Hanover — which were annexed by Prussia after the war, the Austrians insisted as a point of honour that Saxony must be spared, and the Prussians acquiesced.
Saxony nevertheless joined the Prussian-led North German Confederation the next year, with Prussias victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, the members of the Confederation were organised by Otto von Bismarck into the German Empire, with Wilhelm I as its Emperor. Wilhelm Is grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated in 1918 as a result of Germanys defeat in World War I, King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony followed him into abdication and the erstwhile Kingdom of Saxony became the Free State of Saxony within the newly formed Weimar Republic. The 1831 Constitution of Saxony established the state as a parliamentary monarchy, the king was named as head of the nation. He was required to follow the provisions of the constitution, and could not become the ruler of any other state without the consent of the Diet, or parliament. The crown was hereditary in the line of the royal family through agnatic primogeniture. Added provisions concerned the formation of a if the king was too young or otherwise unable to rule.
Any acts or decrees signed or issued by the king had to be countersigned by at least one of his ministers, without the ministerial countersignature, no act of the king was to be considered valid. The king was given the right to declare any accused person innocent, or alternately to mitigate or suspend their punishment or pardon them and he was given supreme power over religious matters in Saxony. The king was given power to promulgate laws, and to carry them into effect. He could not, change the constitution itself or the laws in this manner. He was permitted to veto laws passed by the Diet, or to them back with proposed amendments for reconsideration
Prussia was a historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and centred on the region of Prussia. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership, in November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19. The Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, from 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was successfully establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state. Prussia existed de jure until its liquidation by the Allied Control Council Enactment No.46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians, in the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights—an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders—conquered the lands inhabited by them.
In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk and their monastic state was mostly Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany and in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, and the part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, and exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 18th century it had a say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a Lesser Germany which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleons defeat, Prussia acquired a section of north western Germany.
The country grew rapidly in influence economically and politically, and became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, and of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians. In the Weimar Republic, the state of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. East Prussia lost all of its German population after 1945, as Poland, the main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white colours were already used by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a cross with gold insert
Order of Theresa
The Order of Theresa was an order for noble ladies in the Kingdom of Bavaria. It continues to today as an honorary society to which belong the princesses of the House of Wittelsbach as well as other ladies from Bavarian noble families. The order was founded December 12,1827 by Queen Therese of Bavaria and she established an endowment which paid an annual pension to twelve unmarried noble ladies, six of whom received 300 guilders and six of whom received 100 guilders. Various other ladies held the rank of Ehrendame including all the princesses of the House of Wittelsbach, Bavarian ladies paid a reception fee of 55 guilders while foreign ladies paid 220 guilders. The insignia of the order is worn on the left breast and consists of a blue-enameled Maltese cross with a white edge. In the four angles of the cross are lozenges with the arms of Bavaria. At the centre of the cross is a gold bordered white circular medallion decorated with the letter T, on the back of the medallion is the year 1827 and the motto of the order “Unser Leben sey Glaube an das Ewige”.
The ribbon of the order is white with two sky-blue stripes at the edge, the inner stripe being narrower than the outer stripe, the sash of the order is a similarly-coloured broad ribbon, worn diagonally from the right shoulder to the left hip. Among the current Ladies of Honour of the order is the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein