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.[1]
  • Order of Saint Olav
  • Sankt Olavs Orden

Cross of the Order of St. Olav
Awarded by

King of Norway
TypeChivalric order with five degrees
Established21 August 1847; 173 years ago
MottoRET OG SANDHED (Justice and Truth)
Criteriaremarkable accomplishments on behalf of the country and humanity
StatusCurrently constituted
Grand MasterKing Harald V
  • Grand Cross with Collar
  • Grand Cross
  • Commander with Star
  • Commander
  • Knight 1st Class
  • Knight
Next (higher)None (formerly the Order of the Norwegian Lion)
Next (lower)Order of Merit

Riband of the Order of 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.[2] The order consists of three grades, of which two are divided into two classes,[1] 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.
Ribbon bars

Grand Cross with Collar

Grand Cross

Commander with Star


Knight 1st Class

The Star of The Order of Saint Olav
Design of the collar of the Order of St. Olav since 1906.
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;[3] 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.[4]
The ribbon of the Order is red with white-blue-white edge stripes.[1]
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.
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.[5] Nominations to the order are directed at the commission through the county governor.
Princes and Princesses with succession rights to the throne are appointed to the highest degree upon reaching their age of majority.[6]
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 with reliable sources.
CountryNameChargeGrand Cross
with Collar
Grand CrossYear
 ArgentinaMauricio MacriFormer President
Heinz Fischer2007
Albert IIFormer King
PaolaFormer Queen1997
Luiz Inácio Lula da SilvaFormer President2003
 BulgariaGeorgi Parvanov2006
Sebastián PiñeraPresident2019
 CroatiaIvo JosipovićFormer president2011
FrederikCrown Prince1990
Margrethe IIQueen
MaryCrown Princess2005
Toomas Hendrik IlvesFormer President2014
Arnold Rüütel2002
 FinlandMartti Ahtisaari1994
Tellervo KoivistoFormer President's wife1983
Sauli NiinistöPresident2012
Tarja HalonenFormer President2000
 GermanyJoachim GauckFormer President2014
Horst Köhler2007
Marianne von WeizsäckerFormer first lady1986
Constantine IIFormer King
1964, 1962
 IranFarah PahlaviFormer Empress1965
Guðni Th. JóhannessonPresident2017
Ólafur Ragnar GrímssonFormer President1998
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
Sergio MattarellaPresident
AkihitoEmperor Emeritus
2001, 1953
MasakoEmpress (when Crown Princess)2001
MichikoEmpress Emerita2001
NaruhitoEmperor (when Crown Prince)2001
 JordanAbdullah IIKing2000
HusseinCrown Prince2020
HassanPrince (when Crown Prince)?
 LatviaGuntis UlmanisFormer President1998
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga2000
Andris Bērziņš2015
 LithuaniaValdas Adamkus1998
Dalia Grybauskaitė2011
 LuxembourgHenriGrand Duke
Maria TeresaGrand Duchess
BeatrixFormer Queen (when Princess)
Kjell Magne BondevikFormer Prime Minister
Lars Petter ForbergFormer Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household2004
Åge Bernhard Grutle2015
HaakonCrown Prince
Magne HagenFormer Cabinet Secretary to the King
Harald VKing

Grand Master
1955, 1991
Märtha LouisePrincess
Mette-MaritCrown Princess
2001, 2016
Edvard MoserProfessor, psychologist and neuroscientist, Nobel laureat2018
May-Britt Moser2018
Arne OmholtFormer Marshal of the Court2016
Carsten SmithFormer Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Norway2003
Berit TverslandFormer Cabinet Secretary to the King
 PolandAndrzej DudaPresident2016
Bronislaw KomorowskiFormer President2012
Aleksander Kwaśniewski1996
Lech Wałęsa1995
António Ramalho Eanes
Jorge Sampaio
Aníbal Cavaco Silva2008
Emil Constantinescu1999
 South Korea
Moon Jae-inPresident2019
Andrej KiskaFormer President2018
Ivan Gašparovič2010
 SloveniaBorut PahorPresident2019
Danilo TürkFormer President2011
Juan Carlos IFormer King
SofíaFormer Queen
 SwedenCarl XVI GustafKing
Carl PhilipPrince
VictoriaCrown Princess1995
SirikitFormer Queen1965
Abdullah GülFormer president2013
 United KingdomElizabeth IIQueen
AndrewPrince and Duke of York
CharlesPrince of Wales
EdwardPrince and Duke of Kent
RichardPrince and Duke of Gloucester1973
See also
  1. ^ a b c Hieronymussen & Lundø 1968, p. 102.
  2. ^ Statutes, §2
  3. ^ Hieronymussen & Lundø 1968, fig. 8, p. 102.
  4. ^ "Utnevnelse til St. Olavs Orden". Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  5. ^ section 5, Statues of the Order of St. Olav
  6. ^ section 3, Statues of the Order of St. Olav
Works cited
Hieronymussen, Poul Ohm; Lundø, Jørgen, eds. (1968). Eurooppalaiset kunniamerkit värikuvina [Europæiske ordner i farver] (in Finnish). Translated by Karnila, Christer. Porvoo: WSOY. OCLC 466954328.
External links
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Last edited on 23 April 2021, at 18:01
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