Orders, decorations, and medals of the Netherlands

In the Dutch honours system, most orders are the responsibility of ministers of the Netherlands Government. The house orders, however, are awarded at the discretion of the Dutch monarch alone.

Over the centuries, hundreds of medals, decorations for merit or valour and orders of knighthood have been instituted by the successive governments of the Netherlands. The oldest were founded by the counts of Holland. Their successors, the House of Burgundy, founded the famous Order of the Golden Fleece. This order still exists in Spain and in the Austrian imperial House.

The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands did not possess an order of knighthood. Instead so called "Beloningspenningen", golden medals on golden chains, were given as gifts to ambassadors and successful admirals.

In 1781 a medal called the "Doggersbank medaille" was awarded to the officers who took part in the Battle of the Dogger Bank against the British fleet. It was the first modern Dutch decoration.

The Batavian Republic, founded after the French invasion of 1795, did not institute any orders or medals.

The Kingdom of Holland was founded in 1805 to provide a throne for Napoleon's younger brother Lodewijk Napoleon Bonaparte. The "King of Holland" founded an "Orde van de Unie", (English: Order of the Union, later dubbed "Order of Holland" then "Royal Order of Holland").

The first king of the Netherlands, William I, founded the Military Order of William and a civilian order, the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

His successors founded several orders of merit and some two hundred medals, stars and crosses. The Netherlands never established a colonial order for the Dutch East Indies.

Orders of chivalryEdit

National orders of chivalryEdit

Royal house ordersEdit

Other officially recognised orders of chivalryEdit

The Kingdom of the Netherlands officially recognizes the following orders of chivalry:[1]

Royal Commemorative MedalsEdit

  •   Queen Wilhelmina Inauguration Medal, 1898 (Inhuldigingsmedaille 1898)
  •   Wedding Medal of Queen Wilhelmina and Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 1901 (Huwelijksmedaille 1901)
  •   Royal Silver Wedding Medal, 1926 (Herinneringsmedaille 1926)
  •   Honor Guard Commemorative Medal, 1933 (Herinneringsmedaille 1933)
  •   Wedding Medal of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard, 1937 (Huwelijksmedaille 1937)
  •   Queen Juliana Inauguration Medal, 1948 (Inhuldigingsmedaille 1948)
  •   Royal Silver Wedding Medal of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, 1962 (Herinneringsmedaille 1962)
  •   Wedding Medal of Princess Beatrix and Claus van Amsberg, 1966 (Huwelijksmedaille 1966)
  •   Queen Beatrix Inauguration Medal, 1980 (Inhuldigingsmedaille 1980)
  •   Netherlands Antilles Visit Medal, 1980 (Herinneringsmedaille bezoek aan de Nederlandse Antillen)
  •   Wedding Medal of Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta, 2002 (Huwelijksmedaille 2002)
  •   King Willem-Alexander Inauguration Medal, 2013 (Inhuldigingsmedaille 2013)
  •   Commemorative Medal for State Visits (Herinneringsmedaille Buitenlandse Bezoeken)

Decorations and medalsEdit

Other approved medalsEdit


  1. ^ "The Dutch Honours System" (PDF). lintjes.nl/. Chancellor of the Dutch Orders. Retrieved 15 October 2012.

Literature and sourcesEdit

  • W.F. Bax, "Ridderorden, eereteekenen, draagteekens en penningen, betreffende de Weermacht van Nederland en Koloniën (1813-heden)", 1973
  • H.G. Meijer, C.P. Mulder en B.W. Wagenaar, "Orders and Decorations of the Netherlands", 1984
  • C.H. Evers, "Onderscheidingen", 2001
  • J.H. van Zelm van Eldik, "Moed en Trouw", 2003
  • O Schutte, De Orde van de Unie", 1985

External linksEdit