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Order of the Crown of Romania
"Ordinul Coroana Romaniei"
1881-1947

The Order of the Crown of Romania was instituted on March 14, 1881 by King Carol I and was awarded for outstanding service to the Kingdom.  The Order was awarded primarily to government officials and to military officers. It was created in five grades: Knight, Officer, Commander, Great Officer, and Grand Cross.   The order was disbanded in 1947 after King Michael was forced to abdicate his throne after the Soviet occupation of Romania.

 The medal  consists of a red enameled maltese cross bordered in white.  The center medallion is also enameled in red outlined in white.   Around the edge of the center medallion is written; "PRIN NOI INSINE" (translation: By ourselves), and the date the order was instituted, "14 MARTIE 1881".  The reverse has the inscription; "10 Maiu" in the center of the medallion.  Around the edges are the dates 1866 - 1877 - 1881.  The historical significance of the dates are as follows: 1866- Year King Carol I was crowned, 1877- Year of Romanian independence, 1881- Year the Order was instituted. 

The various grades of the order were differentiated by the size of the crosses.  The cross for the Knight and Officer Grades measure 40 mm across.  The Commander and Great Officer grades measure 50 mm, while the Grand Cross measures 65 mm across.  The Great Officer and Grand Cross grades also included a breast star which was worn on the left breast.  The star for the Great Officer measures 65 mm in diameter, and star for the Grand Cross measures 75 mm in diameter.

In addition to the size of the cross, the grades of the order were differentiated by the way in which the insignia was worn.  The Knight's cross was made in silver and worn as a breast badge on the left chest, suspended by a length of ribbon.  The Officer grade was made in silver gilt, and included the addition of a rosette to the ribbon.  The Commander's cross and the Great Officer's cross were worn suspended from the neck.  The Grand Cross was worn as a sash, and  the cross itself was suspended from a bow on the wearer's right hip

The Order of the Crown of Romania exists in two types. 
 

Type I (1881-1932)
Type I of the Order is distinguished by the monogram of Carol I between the arms of the cross, and by his crown on the central medallion.  The type I was instituted in 5 grades and could be awarded with swords to signify military merit in peace, or bravery in war. An award without swords indicated civil service.

The ribbon of the type I medal is blue with a 6 mm silver stripe set 3 mm from each side.  The officer grade includes the addition of a blue and silver rosette on the ribbon.
 

Type II (1932-1947)
Type II of the Order differs from the Type I in that the central crown and the monogram are reversed.  That is the crown was moved and is between the arms of the cross, and the monogram of Carol II was moved to the central medallion.

In 1938, a separate 'Military' division of the order was created.  Awards of the military division contained the addition of a surmounted crown, and swords between the arms of the cross.

The ribbon of the type II award is blue with a single central white stripe.  On the Knight and Officer's badge, the ribbon is 40 mm wide with a 7 mm central stripe.  During times of war gold stripes were added to the edges of the ribbon.  In instances when the Order was awarded for bravery, the ribbon of the medal of 'Military Virtue' was substituted.  This ribbon was red, bordered on each edge with 5 mm light blue stripes.  The 'Military Virtue' ribbon was authorized only for the Knight and Officer grades of the order.
 

There are 29 variations of the Order:
 
 

Type I 1881-1932
Grand Cross badge
Grand Cross badge with swords
Grand Cross breast star
Grand Cross breast star with swords
Great Officer
Great Officer with swords
Great Officer breast star
Great Officer breast star with swords
Commander
Commander with Swords
Officer
Officer with swords
Knight
Knight with swords
 

Type II 1932-1947
Civil division
Grand Cross badge
Grand Cross breast star
Great Officer
Great Officer breast star
Commander
Officer
Knight
Ladies' Cross of the Order
 

Type II 1938-1947
Military division
Grand Cross badge with swords
Grand Cross breast star with swords
Grand Officer with swords
Grand Officer breast star with swords
Commander with Swords
Officer with swords
Knight with swords





References 

Littlejohn, David. Foreign Legions of the Third Reich. R. Vol 4. R. James Bender Publishing, p. 118.

Pankey, Charles. Original research. 

Catone, Stefan; Serbanescu, Neculae; and Dumitrascu, Bedivan. Romania Decoratii 1859-1991; Realizat Prin Cover; 1992.


 


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Site last Updated on July 14, 2003

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Order of the Crown of Romania
Type I, Grand Cross 
Sash and Badge

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Order of the Crown of Romania
Type I, Grand Cross 
Breast Star
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Order of the Crown of Romania
Type I, Great Officer 
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Order of The Crown of Romania
Type I, Great Officer 
Breast Star
 
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Order of the Crown of Romania 
Type I, Commander w/swords
Order of the Crown of Romania 
Type I, Commander 
Order of the Crown of Romania 
Type I, Officer
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Order of the Crown of Romania 
Type I, Knight.
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Order of the Crown of Romania 
Type II, Civil Officer