The Order of Leopold: categories, grades
The Royal decree of 8 November 1832 left the management of the Order of Leopold in the care of the Public Department Foreign Affairs. Nowadays the Administration of the Orders of the Public Federal Service Foreign Affairs carries out this assignment.
This service can be contacted at the following address: rue des Petits-Carmes, 15 at 1000 Brussels.
The law of 28 December 1838 modified the number of grades of the Order of Leopold changing it from four into five by the addition of the grade of Grand Officer.
The five grades are:
- Grand Ribbon holder
- Grand officer
The Royal decree of 16 May 1839 modified the shape of the decoration of the Order of Leopold. The insignia are described hereafter.
The Royal decree of 16 February 1934 created a maritime category in the Order of Leopold It also consists of five grades. The distinctive mark of the maritime category of the Order consist of two crossed anchors put next to the crosses, under the crown next to the plates, crossed under the central medallion.
Grand Ribbon holder
The gold cross of the Order, with a width of 68 mm, set on a wine-coloured ribbon with a width of 110 mm, put over the right shoulder, slanting down to the left and ending in a big rosette knot in moiré with double milled piece, to which the fixing hook to receive the cross is attached.
The solid silver plate consists of a large (85 mm wide) and a small (75 mm wide) star that are crossed and form an entity with eight branches with cut facets. The central part consist of a medallion, about 40 mm large, with the Belgian lion and device. There is a fixing hook at the back.
At ceremonies the Grand Ribbon holders also wear the Necklace of the Order; this is made out of gold and consists of three alternating parts: the crown, the lion and the figure.
The convex silver plate, with a diameter of about 80 mm, consists of a large cross with four cut-out arms with silver facets. Between the arms there are five smooth silver beams. The central part consist of a medallion with a size of about 40 mm, with the Belgian lion and device. There is a fixing hook at the back.
The plate conferred to service-men has two crossed swords under the central medallion.
The gold cross of the Order, with a width of 55 mm, attached to a wine-coloured ribbon with a width of 37 mm, is hung over the neck.
The gold cross of the Order, with a width of about 40 mm, is suspended to a wine-coloured ribbon with a width of 37 mm, on which a rosette has been fixed. This is worn in the buttonhole for civilians and on the chest of service uniforms.
The silver cross, with a diameter of about 40 mm, is suspended to a wine-coloured ribbon with a width of 37 mm. It is worn in the buttonhole for civilians and on the chest of service uniforms.