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H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri 


Grand Master of 

Order of the Oak Crown - Established:  29 December 1841 by King William II of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, awarded: For civil and military services and for artistic achievement.  

At that time, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Kingdom of the Netherlands were in personal union; although the Order was technically a Luxembourgian award, it was often used by William II and his successor, Grand Duke-King William III, as a house order to reward Dutch subjects, beyond the control of the Dutch government.

William II conferred the order on fewer than 30 recipients. His successor, William III, liked the ability to confer this Order on his sole discretion, and dispersed 300 decorations on the day of his coronation alone. In the following years hundreds of additional appointments in the Order were made. Indeed, there were so many recipients in the Netherlands itself that the Order was widely regarded as a Dutch decoration.

The Order of the Oak Crown ceased to be awarded to Dutch subjects in 1890, when Queen Wilhelmina, as the only remaining member of the House of Orange-Nassau, succeeded her father as the Queen of the Netherlands. As the constitution of Luxembourg, which followed the Salic Law, did not allow women to succeed the throne, the throne of Luxembourg went to a German relative of the queen, Adolphe, Duke of Nassau, who subsequenly became the next grand duke. The Order of the Oak Crown remained a Luxembourgian award; the Netherlands established the Order of Orange-Nassau instead.

Since the accession of Grand Duke Adolphe, the Order has been primarily an award for Luxembourgers, though it has occasionally been conferred upon foreigners, mainly on members of foreign Royal families or notable foreigners of Luxembourger descent.

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is the Grand Master of the Order.



Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau - Established:  31 March 1858 by King-Grand Duke William III. The honour was to be shared between both branches of the House of Nassau, under agreement between William, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Adolphe, Duke of Nassau and future Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The order originally included only one grade, but this was increased to four by William III in 1873
None of the changes made by William III was confirmed by Adolphe, with whom the order was supposed to be shared, and Adolphe refused to award any of the new grades. When William died without a male heir, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg passed to Adolphe, as dictated by the Nassau Family Pact. Two years later, he abolished the grades that William had created unilaterally, and, to this day, the order has maintained just one grade, i.e. that of Knight. In 1905, Adolphe agreed with Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to once again share the order between both ruling branches of the House of Nassau.
At the present Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as well Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg are joint Grand Master of the Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau.



Order of Merit of Adolph of Nassau - Established:   8 May 1858 by Duke Adolph of Nassau, and future Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Adolphe, for exceptional services to Luxembourg or the Ducal House, or excellence in the arts and sciences. The award also recognizes those persons that have performed meritorious actions or heroic deeds in the name of Luxembourg.

The Order of Adolphe of Nassau may also be issued to foreigners and is common as a diplomatic order. The decoration was issued as well in World War II to a handful of Allied officers who had helped liberate Luxembourg from the rule of Nazi Germany. Because of the small size of Luxembourg, and its minor role as a campaign theater, the Order of Adolphe of Nassau was not issued as frequently as other major World War II orders.



Order of the Resistance 1940-1945 - Established:  30 March 1946 by Grand Duchess Charlotte, to civilians for distinguished services to Luxembourg during World War 2.


Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg - Established:  23 January 1961 by Grand Duchess Charlotte, for outstanding professional achievement and for services performed in specific fields.