Order of St. Olav
|Awarded by |
King of Norway 27
|Type||Chivalric order with five degrees|
|Established||21 August 1847 (1847-08-21)|
|Motto||RET OG SANDHED|
(Justice and Truth)
|Criteria||remarkable accomplishments on behalf of the country and humanity|
|Grand Master||King Harald V|
|Next (higher)||None (formerly the Order of the Norwegian Lion)|
|Next (lower)||Order of Merit|
Riband of the Order of St. Olav
The Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav (Norwegian: Den Kongelige Norske Sankt Olavs Orden; or Sanct Olafs Orden, the old Norwegian name) is a Norwegian order of chivalry instituted by King Oscar I on 21 August 1847. It is named after King Olav II, known to posterity as St. Olav.
Just before the union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905, the Order of the Norwegian Lion was instituted in 1904 by King Oscar II, but no appointments were awarded by his successor, King Haakon VII. The Order of St. Olav thus became the kingdom's only order of chivalry for the next 80 years. The Grand Master of the order is the reigning monarch of Norway. It is used to reward individuals for remarkable accomplishments on behalf of the country and humanity. Since 1985, appointments to the order has only been conferred upon Norwegian citizens, though foreign heads of state and royalty may be appointed as a matter of courtesy.
Grades and classes
The reigning monarch of Norway is the order's Grand Master. The order consists of three grades, of which two are divided into two classes, and may be awarded for either civilian or military contributions, in descending order of distinction. The collar is awarded as a separate distinction of the Grand Cross to those recipients deemed exceptionally worthy.
- Grand Cross (Storkors) – awarded to heads of state as a courtesy and in rare cases to individuals for merit; wears the badge on a collar (chain), plus the star on the left chest. If the collar is not worn the badge may be worn on a sash on the right shoulder;
- Commander, which is divided into two classes:
- Commander with Star (Kommandør med stjerne) – wears the badge on a necklet, plus the star on the left chest;
- Commander (Kommandør) – wears the badge on a necklet;
- Knight, which is divided into two classes:
- Knight 1st Class (Ridder av 1. klasse) – wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
- Knight (Ridder) – wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest.
Grand Cross with Collar
Commander with Star
Knight 1st Class
The collar of the Order is in gold, with five enamelled and crowned monograms "O", five enamelled and crowned coat-of-arms of Norway, and 10 gold crosses bottony each flanked by two battle axes with silver blades and golden shafts (The latter element is also featured in the coat of arms of the Church of Norway).
The badge of the Order is a white enamelled Maltese Cross, in silver for the knight class and in gilt of the higher classes; crowned monograms "O" appear between the arms of the cross. The obverse central disc is red with the golden Norwegian lion rampart bearing a battle-axe; the reverse disc bears the King Oscar's motto «Ret og Sandhed» – "Justice and Truth" in Norwegian; both discs are surrounded by a white-blue-white ring. The cross is topped by a crown; military awards have crossed swords between the crown and the cross.
The star of the Order for the Grand Cross is an eight-pointed silver star with faceted rays, bearing the obverse of the badge of the Order (minus the crown on the top).
The star for Commander with Star is a silver faceted Maltese Cross, with gilt crowned monograms "O" between the arms of the cross. The central disc is red with the golden Norwegian lion rampart bearing a battle axe, surrounded by a white-blue-white ring.
The ribbon of the Order is red with white-blue-white edge stripes.
In very exceptional circumstances the Order may be awarded "with diamonds", in which case a ring of diamonds replaces the white-blue-white enamel ring surrounding the central disc on the front of the badge as well as in the crown.
The insignia are expected to be returned either upon the receiver's advancement to a higher level of the order or upon his or her death. The insignia are produced in Norway by craftsmen.
Eligibility and appointment
The King makes appointments upon the recommendation of a six-member commission, none of whom may be a member of the government, consisting of a chancellor, vice chancellor, the Lord Chamberlain (acting as treasurer), and three other representatives. The Lord Chamberlain nominates the members of the commission, and the monarch approves them. Nominations to the order are directed at the commission through the county governor.
The Order of St. Olav is the highest civilian honour currently conferred by Norway and only ranks after the military War Cross among all Norwegian decorations still awarded in the general ranking.
In the order of precedence used at the royal court of Norway, bearers of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav with collar are ranked 15th in the order of precedence, directly after the Mistress of the Robes and generals and directly before recipients of the War Cross with Sword. Bearers of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav are ranked 16th.
Current holders of the Grand Cross
This list contains holders of the Grand Cross, some of whom have also been awarded the Collar and gives the year of their appointment. The list is collated alphabetically by the last name; those recipients not possessing the last name, such as royalty and most Icelanders are collated by the first name. Six of the listed are not heads of states or royals; these are marked by names in bold. Before the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit was created in 1985, appointments to the Order of St Olav was awarded to members of a foreign delegation during state visits. Many holders of the Grand Cross who are not heads of state are not listed here.
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (August 2008)
|Argentina||Mauricio Macri||Former President||Y||2018|
|Belgium||Albert II||Former King||Y||1964|
|Brazil||Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva||Former President||2003|
|Chile||Sebastián Piñera||Former President||2019|
|Croatia||Ivo Josipović||Former president||2011|
|Estonia||Toomas Hendrik Ilves||Former President||2014|
|Tellervo Koivisto||Former President's wife||1983|
|Tarja Halonen||Former President||2000|
|Germany||Joachim Gauck||Former President||2014|
|Marianne von Weizsäcker||Former first lady||1986|
|Constantine II||Former King||Y||1964, 1962|
|Iran||Farah Pahlavi||Former Empress||1965|
|Iceland||Guðni Th. Jóhannesson||President||2017|
|Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson||Former President||1998|
|Japan||Akihito||Emperor Emeritus||Y||2001, 1953|
|Masako||Empress (when Crown Princess)||2001|
|Naruhito||Emperor (when Crown Prince)||2001|
|Hassan||Prince (when Crown Prince)||1980|
|Latvia||Guntis Ulmanis||Former President||1998|
|Maria Teresa||Grand Duchess||Y||1996|
|Netherlands||Beatrix||Former Queen (when Princess)||Y||1964|
|Kjell Magne Bondevik||Former Prime Minister||Y||2004|
|Lars Petter Forberg||Former Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household||2004|
|Åge Bernhard Grutle||2015|
|Magne Hagen||Former Cabinet Secretary to the King||Y||2000|
|Mette-Marit||Crown Princess||Y||2016, 2001|
|Edvard Moser||Professor, psychologist and neuroscientist, Nobel laureat||2018|
|Arne Omholt||Former Marshal of the Court||2016|
|Carsten Smith||Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Norway||2003|
|Berit Tversland||Former Cabinet Secretary to the King||Y||2012|
|Bronislaw Komorowski||Former President||2012|
|Aleksander Kwaśniewski||Former President||1996|
|Lech Wałęsa||Former President||1995|
|Portugal||António Ramalho Eanes||Former President||Y||1978|
|Aníbal Cavaco Silva||Former President||Y||2008|
|Romania||Emil Constantinescu||Former President||1999|
|South Korea||Moon Jae-in||Former President||2019|
|Slovakia||Andrej Kiska||Former President||Y||2018|
|Danilo Türk||Former President||2011|
|Juan Carlos I||Former King||Y||1982|
|Sweden||Carl XVI Gustaf||King||Y||1974|
|Turkey||Abdullah Gül||Former president||2013|
|United Kingdom||Elizabeth II||Queen||Y||1955|
|Andrew||Prince and Duke of York||Y||1988|
|Charles||Prince of Wales||Y||1978|
|Edward||Prince and Duke of Kent||Y||1988|
|Richard||Prince and Duke of Gloucester||1973|
Order of Saint Olav Grand Cross with swords badge 1st Type
Order of Saint Olav Grand Cross with swords badge 2nd Type
Order of St Olav - Commander
Order of St Olav - Commander
Order of St Olav - Commander
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross badge
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross Star
Order of St. Olav Knights Class
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross Star - 2nd Type
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross Star - 1st Type
Order of St. Olav Collar and Star
Order of St. Olav Grand Officer Star - 1st Type
Order of St. Olav Grand Officer Badge - 1st Type
Order of St. Olav Knight - 1st Type
- Hieronymussen, Poul Ohm; Lundø, Jørgen, eds. (1968). Eurooppalaiset kunniamerkit värikuvina [Europæiske ordner i farver] (in Finnish). Translated by Karnila, Christer. Porvoo: WSOY. OCLC 466954328.
- The Order of St. Olav Website of the Royal Court
- Statues of the Order of St. Olav (in Norwegian) Website of the Royal Court