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The greatest award collector of The Netherlands

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Posted (edited)

Ok, I made it sound a little catchy to get your attention.

While responding to another thread I noticed the amount of orders Mr Joseph Luns (Joseph Marie Antoine Hubert Luns) had at a specific time and with his position I thought it at least a little odd to the amount of extremely high awards. I have been researching his orders/awards and found that he was referred to as the greatest collector of awards by numerous historians/authors and fellow politicians.

Some background info on the man:
He was in politics for over 30 years and mainly as a Minister of Foreign Affairs and as the 5th Secretary General of NATO.
His father was an artist (painter, sculptor and writer. He also designed book covers, posters and MEDALS).
He married the Baroness Lia van Heemstra.
His political views were very conservative leaning towards autocracy and he had a very clear distain for anything that hinted towards socialism or communism.

Above is pretty generally accepted information (of course if you love the man you might disagree with the autocracy remark but every evidence does point to that) but from here on out it will be my personal take on his clear obsession with getting awarded orders unless stated otherwise.


Mr. Luns married a Baroness which probably, given the time period, fed into his desire to "fit in" with the circle of friends and when he became politically successful he also became friends with Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld (the consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands) which put him even more in the circle of people and parties where the wearing of orders/medals equates to status. 

In both his positions as Minister and Secretary General of NATO Mr. Luns had power which he could use to his personal gain in obtaining medal/orders, which he especially did as Secretary General of NATO and he was completely fine receiving gifts from leaders that were less than honorable. He was known for directly asking to be given an order or honorary title when negotiating treaties. I todays world this would be less likely as the scrutiny on political kickbacks in a position like that is very high. 

But, I am less interested in how Mr. Luns was able to get his awards/orders as I am curious as to which ones he received over time.

Below I'll post a list of Orders that I know for a fact he received on a specific date, then I'll post a list of awards/orders that I know he received I just do not have a date to it and then I'll post a list of awards/orders that I think he might have received but I'm not sure.

I did not yet figure out the "medals" he received as this list already took a lot of digging but he of course received multiple Dutch jubilee/wedding/coronation medals and probably some from other countries as well.

I know that in 1986 he gave his orders/medals on loan to the Kanselarijmuseum in museum t Loo in Apeldoorn. I've contacted multiple times but have not ever received any response on what they have and so if anyone living in The Netherlands has been there and has more info or photos please share.

And to anyone else if you also have info, additions or general remarks or interesting photos about this shout it out. 

I'll also post some photos of hime at different times.
 

1274379.jpg

Grand Cross of the Order of the Rose, Brazil, 10 January 1953
Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav, Norway, 25 April 1953
Grand Cross National Order of the Southern Cross, Brazil, 15 August 1953
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Italy, 15 September 1953
Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold, Belgium, 10 January 1954
Grand Cross of the Order of George I, Greece, 14 February 1954
Grand Cross of Order of Dannebrog, Denmark, 26 April 1954
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Menelik II, Ethiopia, 1 July  1954
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, France, 12 August 1954
Grand Cross Order of the North Star, Sweden, 28 April 1955
Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown, Luxembourg, 30 May 1955
Grand Cross of the Order of the White Elephant, Thailand, 5 September 1955
Grand Cross Order of Merit for Distinguished Services, Peru, 17 November 1955
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Germany, 10 December 1956
Grand Cross Order of the Falcon, Iceland, 15 May 1963
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau, Netherlands, 5 December 1966 (Elevated from Grand Officer - 29 April 1959)
Honorary Companion of the Order of the Companions of Honor, United Kingdom, 14 June 1971
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, Netherlands, 17 July 1971 (Elevated from Commander - 18 October 1956)
Grand Cross White Decoration of Military Merit, Spain, 20 November 1982
Presidential Medal of Freedom, United States, 10 June 1984

No Dates:

Sash Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico            
Member 3rd Class Most Illustrious Order of Tri Shakti Patta, Nepal
Officer Order of Academic Palms, France
Commander Military Order of Christ, Portugal
Grand Cross Order of Merit of Adolph of Nassau, Luxembourg
Grand Cross Order of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez and Mella, Dominican Republic
Commander Order of Saint John, (Netherlands?)
Grand Commander Order of Loyalty to the Crown, Malaysia                    
Knight Grand Cross Order of Pope Pius IX, Holy See/Vatican
Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic, Spain

Unclear:

Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Africa, Liberia
Grand Cross Order of Valour, Cameroon
Grand Officer Order of Ouissam Alaouite, Morocco

I'll be posting photos to substantiate the above orders as much as I can

(list gets edits when info is given)

Edited by OvBacon

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I can add some dates:

Denmark, Order of Dannebrog (Grand Cross): 26. April 1954

Iceland, Order of the Falcon (Grand Cross): 15. May 1963

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THANK you great dane.... I've updated. This is really what I love about this forum. 

 

Regeringsdiner_t.g.v._van_de_Griekse_President._V.l.n.r._Minister-president_Cara,_Bestanddeelnr_914-8785.jpg

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O just as some additional info... Mr. Luns gathered over 50 orders and awards having more than Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld (the consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands). 

 

Here he is with Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Jonkheer van Amsberg.... the contrast couldn't be greater. Prince Claus: husband of Queen Beatrix, and the Prince Consort of the Netherlands from Beatrix's ascension in 1980 until his death from Parkinson's disease and heart and respiratory ailments in 2002.

4-0.jpg

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He received the grand cross of the Swedish North Star on 28th April 1955

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Thanks Johan

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"Baroness Lia van Heemstra"

Is this the same family as the actress Audrey Hepburn?

 

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7 minutes ago, Hugh said:

"Baroness Lia van Heemstra"

Is this the same family as the actress Audrey Hepburn?

 

yes it is. Audrey Hepburn's mother is Lia's niece.

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Thanks for that.

H

 

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Here is Mr. Luns with his wife Lia van Heemstra

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 9.46.55 AM.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Here Mr. Luns is talking to Princess Irene at a government dinner in honor of Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven's wedding in 1967. He is clearly wearing 3 Jubilee medals

Prinses Irene in gesprek met haar tafelheer minister Luns tijdens het regeringsdiner in de Leidse Lakenhal, ter ere van het huwelijk van Prinses Margriet en Pieter van Vollenhoven.jpg

The gentleman on the right is wearing a commanders croos of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

Edited by OvBacon

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On 19/05/2020 at 06:00, OvBacon said:

the contrast couldn't be greater.

The contrast couldn't be greater indeed, however, this is not the fault of Joseph Luns. Prince Claus was known for hating grandeur and 'unnecessary' clothing. He was the most unlikely royal one might say. He died as he lived, not in a palace, but in a cottage, near the forest, on a palace estate.

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3 hours ago, laurentius said:

The contrast couldn't be greater indeed, however, this is not the fault of Joseph Luns. Prince Claus was known for hating grandeur and 'unnecessary' clothing. He was the most unlikely royal one might say. He died as he lived, not in a palace, but in a cottage, near the forest, on a palace estate.

I agree, and of course I wasn't really saying that Mr. Luns is "bad" and Clause was right... I was more showing how two people can display extreme contrast. And I thought that that particular image showed it really well. 

Again, it might appear that I have something against Mr. Luns but that is not the case. I find him interesting and his collection is obviously vast which is why I started this thread.  

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Statiebezoek_Sjah_van_Iran_,_receptie_Rijksmuseum,_Bestanddeelnr_910-3794.jpg

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