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Belgium

H.M. King Albert II of Belgium & Queen

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Grand Master of 

Order of Leopold   (highest order)- Established 11 July 1832
Motto:   L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE - EENDRACHT MAAKT MACHT

The Order of Leopold (Leopoldsorde in Dutch, Ordre de Léopold in French) is one of the three (current) Belgian national honorary Knight Orders. It is the highest Order of Belgium and is named in honour of King Leopold I. It consists of a military, a maritime and a civilian division. The maritime division is only awarded to personnel of the merchant navy, and the military division to military personnel. The decoration was established on 11 July 1832 and is awarded for extreme bravery in combat or for meritorious service of immense benefit to the Belgian nation. The Order of Leopold is awarded by Royal Decree.

During the Second World War, the Order of Leopold was bestowed on the several officers of foreign militaries who had helped to liberate Belgium from the occupation of German forces.

Membership can only be granted by His Majesty King Albert II and is reserved to the very most important Belgian nationals and to some distinguished foreign persons who contributed in one way to the Belgian military, the Belgian civil society or the Belgian State. Annually, there are two days when the King normally grants membership, on April 8 (King Albert's birthday) and on November 15 (Day of the Belgian Dynasty).

No membership can be granted to a person before the age of 42, except in the military division.



 

 

Order of the African Star - Established: 30 December 1888  by King Leopold II (ceased being conferred in 1962)
Motto:  TRAVAIL ET PROGRES - ARBEID EN VOORUITGANG

(third class)

 

Royal Order of the Lion - Established: 9 April 1891 by King Leopold II (ceased being conferred in 1960 although it still exists)
Motto:  TRAVAIL ET PROGRES - ARBEID EN VOORUITGANG

(Second Class)