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Prussian Order of the Crown - multiple classes worn together?


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You gentlemen were very helpful with my earlier question regarding the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle, so I'm calling on your expertise again.

I'm researching a guy (not the same as earlier) who was awarded the Prussian Order of the Crown 4th class with swords in 1866 (I'm guessing for the Prussian-Austrian war).

In 1890 he gets the 3rd class with swords on the ring and later he is promoted to the 2nd class with swords on the ring.

Do the swords on the ring symbolize that he was awarded the lower (4th) class with swords?

In  "Deutscher Ordens Almanach 1908-09" his list of awards shows both the 4th class with swords and the 2nd class with swords on the ring. Does that mean that he would be wearing both?
Wouldn't the 'swords on the ring' represent the lower awards with swords, so no need to list that one separately?

Edited by Great Dane
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Dear Great Dane,

The swords on the ring do signify he had a lower class of the order with swords ( in your case a 4th class). When there is a distinction like this with an officer (a peace-time and a war-time decoration) than two decorations are allowed to be worn. If your man had been a civilian, only receiving all his decorations without swords he would only be allowed to wear one. 

The reason why the Almanach printed both classes received is to avoid confusion. If someone gets a Crown Order 2nd class with swords on the ring he might have received a 3rd class with swords, or a 4th class with swords.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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