Order of Leopold

Ordre de Léopold

  • Order instituted on 11 July 1832.
  • Order awarded for extreme bravery in combat or for meritorious service of immense benefit to the Belgian nation.
  • Order is issued in five classes and consists of a military, a maritime and a civilian division.
  • The badge of the Order is a white-enamelled Maltese Cross, in silver for the Knight class and in gold for the higher classes, with a green-enamelled wreath of laurel and oak leaves between the arms of the cross. The obverse central disc features a lion on a black enamel background; the reverse central disc has the face-to-face monogram "LR" (for King Leopold I); both discs are surrounded by a red enamel ring with the motto "Unity Is Strength" in French (L'union fait la force) and in Dutch (Eendracht maakt macht). The cross is topped by a crown, which might have crossed swords (military division) or anchors (maritime division) underneath it. The civil division has neither swords nor anchors.
  • The star of the Order is an eight-pointed faceted silver star for the Grand Cordon class, and a silver faceted Maltese Cross with straight rays between the arms for the Grand Officer class. The central disc has a lion on a black enamel background, surrounded by a red enamel ring with the motto as on the badge. Golden crossed swords or anchors might be added behind the medallion, depending on division.