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REGARDING THE ORDER OF THE CROWN OF ITALY

The Order of the Crown of Italy was established on 20 February 1868 by King Vittorio Emanuele II on the occasion of the upcoming wedding of the heir to the throne Umberto Rainerio to Princess Margherita to celebrate national unity, although Italy had not been totally united yet after the end of the third war of independence, which saw Veneto joining the young Kingdom of Italy.

The Order, inextricably linked to the Kingdom of Italy, could be conferred on Italian and foreign citizens, without any religious distinction, who had distinguished themselves for their merits in military, civil and political fields for the good of the state, even before their particular merits towards the Royal Family.

The Order’s decoration was rich in symbols aimed at celebrating national identity from an honorary point of view

The Order’s cross consisted in a white bevelled enamel cross whose arms were joined by golden Savoy knots.

The decoration at the centre of the cross featured a circle on the obverse representing the Iron Crown on a blue background; on the reverse, in the same circle, it featured a black Moriana eagle on a golden background. In the Sovereign’s eyes these symbols were a way of defining the unity of the Royal House with the Italian territory. Besides being a significant relic of the Passion of the Lord and a fine artefact of Longobard goldsmithery, the Iron Crown had represented power over Italy since the time of Charlemagne.

The decoration at the centre of the cross featured a circle on the obverse representing the Iron Crown on a blue background; on the reverse, in the same circle, it featured a black Moriana eagle on a golden background. In the Sovereign’s eyes these symbols were a way of defining the unity of the Royal House with the Italian territory. Besides being a significant relic of the Passion of the Lord and a fine artefact of Longobard goldsmithery, the Iron Crown had represented power over Italy since the time of Charlemagne.

The Order of the Crown of Italy counted among its ranks tens of thousands of Knights and Dames from the most diverse social classes and was a true reflection of the various facets of a young and diverse nation which found in the Sovereign the personification of its unity.

Being a state and not a dynastic order, the Order of the Crown of Italy was no longer conferred after the death of H.M. King Umberto II.

The King, who always maintained his prerogatives as Head of State since he had never abdicated, continued to confer the Order of the Crown of Italy during the years of his unjust exile in Portugal

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