- Order of the Polar Star
The Royal Order of the Polar Star
Cross and star of the order Awarded by
The Monarch of Sweden
Type Five grade order of merit Motto Nescit Occasum Day 28 April Eligibility Until 1975: Swedish and foreign persons
Since 1975: Foreign citizens and members of the Swedish Royal Family
Awarded for Until 1975: Civic merits, for devotion to duty, for science, literary, learned and useful works and for new and beneficial institutions.
After 1975: Services to Sweden
Status Currently constituted Grand Master His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Chancellor Ingemar Eliasson Grades (w/ post-nominals) Commander Grand Cross (KmstkNO)
Commander 1st Class (KNO1kl)
Commander 2nd Class (KNO2kl)
Knight 1st Class (RNO1kl)
Established 1748 First induction 1748 Precedence Next (higher) The Royal Order of the Seraphim Next (lower) The Royal Order of the Sword
1748 - 1975
1975 - present
Ribbon bars of the order
The Order of the Polar Star (Swedish Nordstjärneorden) is a Swedish order of chivalry created by King Frederick I of Sweden on 23 February 1748, together with the Order of the Sword and the Order of the Seraphim.
The Order of the Polar Star was until 1975 intended as a reward for Swedish and foreign "civic merits, for devotion to duty, for science, literary, learned and useful works and for new and beneficial institutions".
Its motto is, as seen on the blue enameled centre of the badge, Nescit Occasum. This is Latin and means "it knows no decline". This is to prove that Sweden is as constant as a never setting star. The Order's colour is black. This was chosen so that when wearing the black sash, the white, blue and golden cross would stand out and shine as the light of enlightenment from the black surface. Women and clergy men are not called knight or commander but simply as Member (Ledamot).
After the reorganization of the orders in 1975 the order is only awarded to foreigners and members of the royal family. It is often awarded to foreign office holders (such as Prime and Senior Ministers) during Swedish state visits. It is also awarded to junior members of royal families who would not qualify for the more prestigious Order of the Seraphim.
The Order currently has five degrees:
- Commander Grand Cross (KmstkNO) - Wears the badge on a collar (chain) or on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
- Commander 1st Class (KNO1kl) - Wears the badge on a necklet, plus the star on the left chest;
- Commander (KNO) - Wears the badge on a necklet;
- Knight 1st Class (RNO1kl/LNO1kl[N 1]) - Wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Knight (RNO/LNO[N 1]) - Wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest.
This order also has a medal, "the Polar Star Medal".
- The collar of the Order is in gold, consists of seven white-enamelled five-pointed star and seven crowned back-to-back monogram "F" (for King Frederick I of Sweden) in blue enamel, joined by chains.
- The badge of the Order is a white enamelled Maltese Cross, in silver for the Officer class and in gilt for Officer 1st Class and above; crowns appear between the arms of the cross. The central disc, which is identical on both sides, is in blue enamel, with a white-enamelled five-pointed star surrounded by the motto "Nescit occasum" (It knows no decline). The badge hangs from a royal crown.
- The star of the Order is a silver Maltese Cross, with a silver five-pointed star at the centre. That of Grand Cross also has straight silver rays between the arms of the cross.
- the ribbon of the Order is black, the choice of this colour for the ribbon may have been inspired by the blaqck ribbon of the French Order of St. Michael, which at the time of the founding of the Order of the Polar Star was awarded in France for the reasons the Polar Star was awarded in Sweden. It has also been noted that the white cross of the Order stands in stark contrast to the black ribbon from which it hangs; since 1975 the ribbon is blue with yellow stripes near its borders (i. g., the national colours of Sweden).
- Formerly the Order also had a distinctive red and white habit worn on formal occasions such as at chapters of the Order. The habit included breeches, waistcoat, coat, cape and a black top hat with a plume of white ostrich and black egret feathers.
- ^ Hovkalender 2010. Riksmarskalkämbetet (Office of the Marshal of the Realm). ISSN 0281-1456. Archived from the original on 2010-10-30. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:WDwdthdVpZwJ:www.gripsholmsslott.se/download/18.40e05eec12926f2630480004608/Hovkalendern_2010.pdf+http://www.gripsholmsslott.se/download/18.40e05eec12926f2630480004608/Hovkalendern_2010.pdf&hl=sv&gl=se&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESixMbI-Fa1eF-ABbc4iZ-qNIoJFU_Ncd8QB0VOFioqcKyAwkEY1Fvzs5NVLocZJFiiokxwcYzEtrL45x6RaRn8hYzC_bg1OPpXTNA5o-YjP9TIkCnjAy6kEVRKdj9oclfST2pry&sig=AHIEtbRCo1nS4kAO1YBJc6BrgiT1Adjclg. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
- (Swedish) Per Nordenvall, Kungliga Serafimerorden 1748–1998. Stockholm : Kungl. Maj:ts orden, 1998. ISBN 978-91-630-6744-0
- (Swedish) Royal Court of Sweden, www.royalcourt.se
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