Order of the Crown (Prussia)
The Order of the Crown was Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...
's lowest ranking order of chivalry
An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house or international organization to an individual, usually in recognition of distinguished service to a nation or to humanity. The distinction between orders and decorations is somewhat vague, except that most...
. Instituted in 1861 as an award equal in rank to the Order of the Red Eagle
Order of the Red Eagle
The Order of the Red Eagle was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to both military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership, long and faithful service to the kingdom, or other achievements...
, it could only be awarded to commissioned officers (or civilians of approximately equivalent status), but there was a medal associated with the order which could be earned by non-commissioned officers and enlisted men.
Officially the Order of the Red Eagle and the Order of the Crown were equal. Most officials did however prefer to be appointed in the senior Order of the Red Eagle. The Order of the Crown was often used as a decoration of someone who had to be rewarded while the Prussian government did not want to award the Order of the Red Eagle.
The Order had six classes:
- Grand Cross - wore the Grand Cross badge on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
- 1st Class - wore the badge on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
- 2nd Class - wore the badge on a necklet, plus the star on the left chest;
- 3rd Class - wore the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
- 4th Class - wore the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Medal - wore the medal on a ribbon on the left chest.
InsigniaThe badge of the Order for the 1st to 4th classes was a gilt
The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is described as "gilt"...
cross, similar in shape to the Iron Cross
The Iron Cross is a cross symbol typically in black with a white or silver outline that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem....
but with white enamel (except for the 4th Class, which was plain). The obverse gilt central disc bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto of the German Empire Gott Mit Uns
Gott Mit Uns
Gott mit uns is a phrase commonly associated with the German military from the German Empire to the end of the Third Reich, although its historical origins are far older, ultimately tracing back to the Hebrew term Immanuel from the Bible...
(God With Us); the reverse gilt disc has the royal monogram, surrounded by a blue enamel ring with the date 18 October 1861.
The star of the Order was (for Grand Cross) a gilt eight-pointed star, (for 1st Class) a silver eight-pointed star, or (for 2nd Class) a silver four-pointed star, all with straight rays. The gilt central disc again bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto Gott Mit Uns.
The ribbon of the Order was blue.
The order could be awarded in dozens of variations. For example with superimposed Cross of Geneva (Red Cross - normally given to doctors for meritorious service), with swords and with oak leaves.
List of KnightsThe following lists show a fair cross section of individuals who were known to be conferred with the Order in its several classes, in order of precedence. The following is only a partial list and may expand over time, with further research.
- Sir Christopher George Francis Maurice CradockChristopher CradockRear-Admiral Sir Christopher "Kit" George Francis Maurice Cradock KCVO CB was a British officer of the Royal Navy. He was born at Hartforth, Richmond, North Yorkshire...
- Mustafa Kemal AtatürkMustafa Kemal AtatürkMustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....
- Ernst von BibraErnst von BibraDr. Ernst Freiherr von Bibra was a German Naturalist and author...
3rd Class 1869
- Robert James Lindsay VC KCB, 1st and last Baron Wantage of Lockinge 3rd Class with Cross of Geneva (Following Franco-Prussian WarFranco-Prussian WarThe Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...
awarded for work with British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War)
- Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala 1st Class 1911
- Friedrich Wilhelm von Lindeiner-WildauFriedrich Wilhelm von Lindeiner-WildauOberst Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav von Lindeiner-Wildau was a German Staff Officer during World War I best known today as the Kommandant of Stalag Luft III during World War II, the setting for the movie The Great Escape....
4th Class with Swords