Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand

The Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand (Spanish: Real y Militar Orden de San Fernando), is a Spanish military order whose decoration, known as Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand (Spanish: Cruz Laureada de San Fernando), is Spain's highest military decoration for gallantry. It is awarded in recognition of action, either individual or collective, to protect the nation, its citizens, or the peace and security of the international community in the face of immediate risk to the bearer. Those eligible are current and former members of the Spanish Armed Forces.

Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand
Insignia of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand.svg
Arms of the Order of Saint Ferdinand
TypeMilitary Order of Merit
Presented bySpain
EligibilityMilitary personnel
StatusCurrently awarded
Established31 August 1811
ESP Laureada pasador.svg
Ribbon of the order
Next (higher)None
Next (lower)Military Medal[1]
The Laureate Cross

The Sovereign of the Order of San Fernando is the monarch of Spain,[2] who presides over the biennial chapter held in the Royal Monastery of El Escorial. The sovereign's representative in the Order is the Grand Master,[3] who governs it and is aided by the Maestranza.

Among the conditions laid out by the Royal Military Order of Saint Ferdinand for the granting of the award are:

  • that the sole purpose of the action taken wasn't the saving of one's life;
  • that the action was not motivated by improper ambition to honours unnecessarily disregarding one's (or that of one's subordinates) life;
  • that, as far as possible, the damage and number of own casualties caused by the action was minimized;
  • that the action was taken in the face of significantly adverse odds or other detrimental factors;
  • that the action taken made a crucial difference to the situation in which it occurred.

The Royal Military Order of Saint Ferdinand was set up in 1811 by the Cortes of Cádiz – which served as a parliamentary Regency after Ferdinand VII was deposed – to honour heroic feats of arms. Its awardees include Marcelo Azcárraga Palmero, Juan Prim, Juan de la Cruz Mourgeón, Francisco de Albear, José Enrique Varela Iglesias (twice awarded, in 1920, and 1921), Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, Frederick Thomas Pelham, Henry Kelly (VC), Martín Cerezo,[4] Francisco Franco Bahamonde, and Mohamed Meziane.

See alsoEdit



Loosely adapted from the Spanish Wikipedia article on the same topic.

  1. ^ "Orden DEF/3594/2003, de 10 de diciembre, por la que se aprueban las normas para la tramitación y concesión ordinaria de las Cruces del Mérito Militar, Naval y Aeronáutico, con distintivo blanco, y de las menciones honoríficas, la delegación de competencias en esta materia, y el uso de las condecoraciones representativas de las recompensas" [Order DEF/3594/2003, of December 10, by which the rules for ordinary processing and concession of the Crosses of the Military, Naval and Aeronautical Merit, with white badge, and of the honorific mentions, the delegation of competitions in this matter, and use of representative decorations of rewards are approved] (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-03-06 – via
  2. ^ Regulation of the Royal and Military Order of San Fernando, article 2
  3. ^ Regulation of the Royal and Military Order of San Fernando, article 3(1)
  4. ^ 1898, Our Last Men in the Philippines, Lieutenant Martín Cerezo was the only member of the Belar garrison in 1898 so recognized.


External linksEdit