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Legion of Honour 220 years

On May 19th, 1802, the Legion of Honour was instituted by First Consul Bonaparte.
Legion of Honour 220 years

Despite the institution in 1802, the order did not get its insignias until 1804. The order could be awarded for civil or military merits regardless of individual rank and status. The order quickly became very popular, and since the elimination of the royal orders in 1830 the Legion of Honour has been the highest ranking order in France.


When King Frederik VI reorganized the Danish Order of Dannebrog in 1808, it was modelled on the Legion of Honour. The King was the first Dane to be awarded the order. He received the Grand Cross in 1808, and approx. 1.350 Danes have since been awarded the order.


The first female Dane to receive the order was Anna Elisabeth ("Lisbeth") Tscherning (1869-1937), who was knighted in 1916. She was the headmistress of the Danish hospital in Paris 1916-1919. The hospital was established by a Danish Committee for Medical Aid ("Dansk Hjælpeambulancekomité"), founded by her and her husband.


The Legion of Honour was also a role model for the institution of orders of several former French colonies - both in terms of the division into Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer and Knight as well as the appearance of the order's insignias.