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Steady Eddie: What are his gongs?


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Edward VII was not known as a soldier, practicing the marital arts in lieu of the martial arts. He did, however, don some spiffy rigs for his official duties. At the bottom photo, I make this an 8-place medal bar.

1. Order of the Bath

2. Star of India

3.St. George and St. Michael

4. Order of the Indian Empire

5. Victorian Order

6. ?

7. Reserve Officer or Territorial decoration

8. Turkish Order of the Medjidi or some such.

 

The top picture, an older photo shows even more 'flair' but I can't make them out. Perhaps a Greek Order of the Redeemer and something at the end from one of the German  states?

Unknown-13.jpeg

Unknown-12.jpeg

Edited by filfoster
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Great Dane, Thank you! the angle of the medals in this photo will make further identifications difficult. perhaps we can find a better photo

Better angle. not much resolution, sadly

edward-VII-scaled.jpg

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Would German state orders be worn on the bar if he received them in higher grades?

 

I know that British orders were normally 'represented' on the bar like this (at least for British royalty) and the Silver Merit Cross mentioned above was an 'add-on' to him being Grand Commander of the same order (other royalties like the Russian Czars and the King of Greece wore the Silver Merit Cross too).

 

The Greek Order of the Redeemer could also be represented by a Knight Cross on the bar for Grand Cross recipients, but I don't know if that mechanism was common for German state orders?

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Posted (edited)

The Dannebrog would make sense as his wife was a Danish princess.

t was common for German officers to wear lesser awards on the bar for German orders, just not the same grade, as for example, the Iron Cross 2nd class was not to be worn on the medal bar and also as a button hole ribbon.

Hindenburg was very proud of his Red Eagle Order 4th class with swords, won during his service in the Franco-Prussian War, and worn on his medal bar but he held the very highest grade of that order. Ludenforff also wore the Red Eagle 3rd class with crown on his medal bar but held the Grand Cross with swords and Oakleaves and is often shown at least in post-war photos, wearing the breast star with his medal bar.

Edited by filfoster
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we are mixing things up here.

 

German ROYALS did wear lower classes as well as grand crosses to show their "unity" with the "mortal" people as well.

Decorations of the Red Eagle with swords and with the crown were always worn together with the later awarded higher classes, as this were kind of special classes, not the normal regularly awarded "long service" gongs.

 

 

On the Kings Eduards bar, I see as well a Prussian Crowen Order 3rd class on the special memorial ribbon for the wars of unification and a Austrian Marianer Cross of the Teutonic knights.

 

Best,

Daniel

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Posted (edited)

Daniel Krause, thank you. I wish we could find a clearer photo of the longer, later medal bar and we could then begin to number the places of the ones we can identify. I will try to find one, and maybe someone else can also find one.

 

I also see the Austrian Ribbon for the Marianer Kreuz, maybe 5th from the end.

Any better?

unnamed.jpg

Edited by filfoster
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OK, the later photo has what I think is a 13=place medal bar:

1. Order of the Bath

2. Order of the Star of India

3. Order of St George and St. Michael

4. ?

5. Order of the Indian Empire

6. Order of the Dannebrog silver knight's badge

7. ?

8. ?

9. Austrian 'Marianerkreuz'

10.?

11. ?

12. ?

13. French Red Cross 1870-1871

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Here is a photo of Edward VII in a Russian Guard uniform. The selection of medals is a little different.

I can see:

 

?

Russian Order of Wladimir,

Danish Dannebrog Silver Merit Cross (aka Honour Cross, not Knight Cross),

Greek Order of the Redeemer, 

?

Danish King Christian IX and Queen Louise Golden Wedding anniversary decoration,

Prussian Order of the Crown, 4th class with Red Cross 

Austrian Marianerkreuz,

Hessian Order of Philip the Magnanimous,

?

French SSBM Red Cross for 1870-71

 

 

EdwVII1.jpg

EdwVII2.jpg

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No. 5 on the bar above (and next to last on previous photos) looks like the French Medaille Militaire (the pre-1870 version with the eagle suspension), but why Edward would have been awarded that one, I have no idea... 😲

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12 minutes ago, Great Dane said:

No. 5 on the bar above (and next to last on previous photos) looks like the French Medaille Militaire (the pre-1870 version with the eagle suspension), but why Edward would have been awarded that one, I have no idea... 😲

I agree that medal is the Medaille Militaire; the eagle surmounting, and the rim give it away.

The first place medal in the Russian uniform pic is a real puzzler.

I am not familiar with the 4th class Prussian Crown Order with the Red Cross device.

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Hello Guys

I think ( and I can't find the reference atm) that Edward VII and George V (when they were monarchs) wore  medal bars with the Sovereign badges of the various British orders of knighthood .

That first medal on his  (rather cool Russian uniform ) is probably Queen Victoria's Jubilee medal 1887  and on his other groups he (must?) be wearing the 1887 with the 1897 bar all in gold of course. Btw British monarchs never wear their own coronation and jubilee medals .

His French MM looks to me the 1870 model.. might be something to do with the Entente Cordiale?

I don't know much about breast stars of Imperial Germany but i think the he has the combination star for recipients of the Order of the Garter and the Order of the Black Eagle. ..I think there is something similar for the Order of the Elephant.

Interesting photos thanks for sharing.

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Posted (edited)

Jimn: I agree the medal bust looks very like the Victoria 50-60 year Jubilee medals but the precedence and the ribbon don't look right. Still, the medal does look like that gong

Unknown-1.jpeg

Edited by filfoster
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Posted (edited)

I would like to focus on identifying the medals in this medal bar. I aim to reproduce it for a display.

Here's what we have guessed at so far:

1. Order of the Bath

2. Order of the Star of India

3. Order of St George and St. Michael

4. ?

5. Order of the Indian Empire

6. Order of the Dannebrog silver knight's badge

7. ?

8. ?

9. Austrian 'Marianerkreuz'

10.?

11. Order of the Redeemer?

12. 2nd Empire Medaille Militaire?

13. French Red Cross 1870-1871

unnamed.jpg

Edited by filfoster
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Yes you are right the ribbon looks very different.....maybe an similar type of medal from a German state? I think the the order of wear on the "Russian" group( if it is the Queen Vic jubillee) is correct as he is wearing his British one before foreign awards.  I could never understand the awards of royalty and how they wore the until I realized they are Special and above normal regulations esp before 1914.

Eddie's medals and uniforms are fun.. he would have thought so too!!

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1 hour ago, Great Dane said:

 

@filfoster

Do you have a better photo of the one you're interested in? The gray tones on the bar and stars are very washed out...

Sadly, no.  This was the result of a fairly long Google search.  Many images, few clear shots of this medal (a late example, I believe after he was king), and not very clear resolution.  Maybe someone with better search skills can provide one?

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Based on the photo above, this is my guess:

1. Order of the Bath

2. Order of the Star of India

3. Order of St George and St. Michael

4. Victorian Order

5. Order of the Indian Empire

6. Order of St. Vladimir

7. Order of Dannebrog (silver merit cross)

8. Order of the Redeemer

9. ?

10. Austrian 'Marianerkreuz'

11. Hessian Order of Philip the Magnanimous

12. Saxe-Ernestine House Order

13. 2nd Empire Medaille Militaire

14. French Red Cross 1870-1871

 

So I see 14 decorations.

I'm basing my guess for the Saxe-Ernestine order on the shape (although many orders have this shape) and his father's origin. He may have chosen this one as a gesture.

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Are all these portrait pictures of him as King or are some of him as Prince of Wales?

British order of wear is Bath/Star of India/St Michael and St George/Indian Empire/Victorian Order...in a photo of Eddie as King I would expect   to see  all these orders on his bar. As he is the Sovereign and Fount of all Honour.  However if he is Prince of Wales this is not necessarily so. 

 

I reckon after the Victorian Order in all these groups pictured he must be wearing his mother's jubilee medal ....it would be strange if it were not. I say this because the Indian Empire would be worn between the St Michael /St George and the Victorian Order and I think I see the Victorian Order worn directly after the St Michael and St George . I am probably wrong as it is difficult to be certain from the pictures .

Just my two cents worth

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All but one (my second post) show him as King. He visited Russia in 1908 and that is likely the place the above photo of him wearing Russian uniform was taken. 

I hope we can fill in the places of the longer medal bar.

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Posted (edited)

The appeal of this, to me, is that Edward VII, arguably reigned at the apogee of England's imperial/colonial glory, the brilliant sunset, before two world wars literally bled England and her empire dry and bankrupted it. He was a world-class womanizer and gourmand, indulging his desires with the wherewithal of the most prestigious temporal throne on the planet, (sorry, Romanovs and Hohenzollerns).

His ceremonial uniforms were not much different than his successors, but somehow capture some of that romance of the high tide of the British Empire.

Now, if we could only figure out just what he's wearing on that medal bar.....

Edited by filfoster
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