Mexican Imperial Orders

There were three Imperial Orders of the Mexican Empire, which were Orders of chivalry created to reward Heads of state and prominent people during the two periods of the Mexican Empire—the Imperial Order of Guadalupe [es] (Spanish: Orden Imperial de Guadalupe), the Imperial Order of the Mexican Eagle (Spanish: Orden Imperial del Águila Mexicana), and the Imperial Order of Saint Charles [es] (Spanish: Imperial Orden de San Carlos).

Chains of the Order of Our Lady of Guadalupe (below) and of the Order of the Mexican Eagle

Imperial Order of GuadalupeEdit

Cross of "National Order of Our Lady of Guadalupe"
  •   The Order of Guadalupe (originally: "National Order of Our Lady of Guadalupe") was established by Emperor Agustín I of Mexico in the fall of 1821, although its statutes would not be published until February 1822. It was originally divided into two classes: Grand Cross and Numerary Member. After the death of the Agustin I, the Order fell out of use and remained inactive for 30 years until Antonio López de Santa Anna convinced Pope Pius IX to recognize it in 1854. It fell into disuse again in August of that same year after the successful Ayutla Revolution and the ousting of Santa Anna from government. The third and last period of the Order began on June 30, 1863, before the arrival of Maximilian I of Mexico, by decree of the Provisional Imperial Government.
Star of the Order of Guadalupe

Emperor Maximilian I modified the statutes of the Order for the last time on April 10, 1865, renaming the order "Imperial" (instead of "National") and divided it into four ranks, each with civilian and military divisions:

  • Grand Cross, limited to 30 recipients.
  • Grand Officer, limited to 100 recipients.
  • Commander, limited to 200 recipients.
  • Knight, limited to 500 recipients.
Recipients of the Imperial Order of Guadalupe

Imperial Order of the Mexican EagleEdit

Detail of the chain of the Imperial Order of the Mexican Eagle
  •   The Imperial Order of the Mexican Eagle was created by Maximilian I on January 1, 1865. It consisted of two classes: the Superior Class only available to Heads of State, awarded a Grand Cross with Collar; and the Ordinary Class, consisting of the following ranks:
  • Grand Cross
  • Grand Officer
  • Commander
  • Officer
  • Knight
Drawing of the order insignia

The award survives partially (in name at least) in the modern Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle.

Imperial Order of Saint CharlesEdit

Cross of the Order of Saint Charles
  •   The Imperial Order of Saint Charles was created by Maximilian I on April 10, 1866. It was awarded exclusively to women who excelled in the service of their community. The Order honoured Saint Charles Borromeo, Patron Saint of Empress Carlota, sovereign of the Order. It was divided into two classes: the Grand Cross, awarded to only 24 Ladies; and the Cross, without any limit upon the number of women who might receive it.

Grand CrossesEdit

Empress Carlota of Mexico, wearing the sash and cross as sovereign of the Order of Saint Charles

Some Ladies Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Charles include:[1]

Insignia of the Order of Saint Charles, or Orden de San Carlos in Spanish

See alsoEdit



External linksEdit