Dutch Royal Coat of Arms, Standards, Flags and Orders

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Site Team
Aug 13, 2004
São Paulo
I came across these two coat-of-arms, they look the same on the first glance but I notice that in the first picture the middle shield is in the form of a shield while on the second image it is in the form of a circle. I wonder why this difference has been made, maybe the circle-thing is for members who marry into the RF? I remember that Laurentien has a round coat-of-arms too. This one is of Máxima btw, the castle with the cypresses is the coat-of-arms of the Zorreguieta family. I suppose the first one is the c-o-a of her daughters. The horns represent Orange I believe and the lions represent Nassau.


Dutch Royal Orders

In this thread we can discuss the royal orders that exist in The Netherlands.

The most important one is the Order of Orange-Nassau. From this wikipeida site:

The Order of Orange-Nassau (Dutch: Orde van Oranje-Nassau) is a military and civil order of the Netherlands which was first created on 4 April 1892 by the Queen regent Emma of the Netherlands, acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina.
In 1841 William II of the Netherlands, as Grand Duke of Luxembourg, created the Order of the Oak Crown. Although this was officially not a Dutch order, honours were regularly conferred on Dutch people. After the death of William III, Luxembourg became an independent state. There was a need for a third Dutch order, beside the military Order of William and Order of the Netherlands Lion, so that royal honours could be conferred upon foreign diplomats and people from lower ranks and classes.
The Order of Orange-Nassau has two divisions, civil and military, the former denoted by a wreath of laurel on the badges, and the latter by crossed swords on both the badges and the stars. The Order of Orange-Nassau can therefore be considered the Dutch equivalent of the Order of the British Empire.
During World War II, the Order of Orange-Nassau was bestowed upon both members of the Netherlands military and members of foreign services who had helped liberate the Netherlands from Nazi Germany occupation. In the modern age, the Orange-Nassau is still the most active military and civil decoration of the Netherlands, and ranks after the Order of the Netherlands Lion. The Order is typically awarded each year on the Queen's official birthday (April 30th) with thousands of appointments to the Order made public. The Order is also used to honour foreign princes, ministers, dignitaries and diplomats.
In 1994, the Dutch honours system was extensively revised. This revision intended to create a more democratic system, disconnecting the level of the honours from rank and social status. Until this revision the Order consisted of five grades. In addition Honorary Medals were issued in the grades of gold, silver and bronze. The bearers of the Honorary medal were not formally included in the Order. The Honorary medals were replaced by the Member Class of the Order of Orange Nassau which is reserved only for Dutch citizens.
The King or Queen Regnant of the Netherlands is the Grand Master of the Order of Orange-Nassau. In addition to this special grade, the Order of Orange-Nassau is issued in six classes.

The following grades exist for the Order of Orange-Nassau
  1. Knight 1st grade, named Knight Grand Cross
  2. Knight 2nd grade, named Grand Officer
  3. Knight 3rd grade, named Commander
  4. Knight 4th grade, named Officer
  5. Knight 5th grade, named Knight
  6. Knight 6th grade, named Member
The badge of the Order is a blue-enamelled, white enamel-bordered Maltese Cross, in gilt for the officers and above, in silver for knights and members. The obverse central disc has the lion from the Dutch coat-of-arms of the Netherlands in gold and blue enamel, surrounded by a white enamel ring bearing the Dutch national motto Je Maintiendrai (I shall maintain). The reverse central disc has the crowned monogram "W" (for Queen Wilhelmina) surrounded by the motto God Zij Met Ons (God be with us). The badge is topped by a crown. The civil division has a wreath of laurel between the arms of the cross; the military division has crossed swords instead. The badge is attached to a ribbon which is orange with white and blue border stripes. The way the badge and ribbon should be worn differs between men and women.
The star of the Order is a silver star with straight rays, in 8 points for Grand Cross and in 4 points for Grand Officer; the central disc has the lion from the Dutch coat-of-arms of the Netherlands in gold and blue enamel, surrounded by a white enamel ring bearing the Dutch national motto Je Maintiendrai. The military division has crossed swords.
Did Maxima's father have a coat of arms or did Maxima receive a new coat of arms like Mary of Denmark received?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers and Thank you,

By Royal Decree of 25 januari 2002, Máxima was assigned a coat of arms and standard.


These are the coat of arms of H.R.H. Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria Prinsess of the Netherlands, Prinsess of Orange-Nassau and other children out of the marriage H.R.H. the Prince of Orange and H.R.H. Princess Máxima, by Royal Decree of 21 nov. 2003, nr.03.004842.

It was a decision By the Hoge Raad van Adel not to use different chapes of the shield for difference of gender and to discontinue the use of the female shield.

Did Maxima's father have a coat of arms or did Maxima receive a new coat of arms like Mary of Denmark received?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers and Thank you,

Maxima's father, Jorge Zorreguieta, is not a royal not a noble. And he is from Argentina where is not usual at all to have a personal coat of arms. The only person in Argentina with a Coat of Arms is the President, which is the same as the country's coat of arms.
The foundation Sigillis Regiis Praesidio (a vehicle of the Royal House which protects titles, crests, banners, predicates, portrait rights and names of the House Orange-Nassau) has started -and won- a lawsuit against the commercial enterprise naming itself Royal Dutch Holding for the illegal use of the word "Royal".

The predicate "Koninklijk" is a designation that can be granted to associations, foundations, institutions or large companies. There are strict rules for awarding the predicate: the company must not only be very important in its field, but it must also be at least a century old and have at least a hundred employees. In addition, the company must be demonstrably stable, have a good financial reputation and also present itself as a Dutch company.

The lawyers of the accused enterprise, Royal Dutch Holding, stated that their cliënt did not use the predicate "Koninklijk" but the English translation. The Judge was not convinced by this argument. Companies like Koninklijke Shell or Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM) are equally known as Royal Dutch Shell or as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The lawyers of Sigillis Regiis Praesidio stated that Royal Dutch Holding not only used the word "Royal" but also in connection with "Dutch". This means that this company not only uses the predicate "Koninklijk" for which never any permission was granted by the King, but in connection with the word "Dutch" also makes (mis)use of the worldwide reputation of the two named multinationals.

The foundation Sigillis Regiis Praesidio (means: "Protector of the King's Seals") is involved in all name issues around the House of Orange-Nassau. And with success. For example, in 2003 the foundation registered the name of Princess Amalia as trademark. With that the Royal House took the wind out of the sails of commercial name hijackers. The names and domains Prinses Catharina-Amalia / Prinses Amalia in various languages and all possible combinations was deposited on December 5, 2003, two days before the birth of the Princess on December 7th.

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It is interesting that the use of the predicate Koninklijk/Royal without permission granted by the King is illegal (decided by which law?).

It was a decision By the Hoge Raad van Adel not to use different chapes of the shield for difference of gender and to discontinue the use of the female shield.

The High Council of Nobility's decision to discontinue of the oval shields for female children is fairly incomprehensible. It plainly has not secured gender equality since the coat of arms assigned to Queen Máxima differs in the shape and elements from the coats of arms assigned to Princes Hendrik, Bernhard, and Claus, and Pieter van Vollenhoven is apparently missing a royal coat of arms altogether, contrary to Princess Laurentien.

That is tomorrow: the Princess will be given entrance into the Raad van State. Then the King (the President of the Raad van State) and the Princess will give a speech.

This short ceremony will be done in the former city palace of the Prince of Orange (later King Willem II) in The Hague.

The Raad van State, established by Charles Quint in 1531, is one of yhe oldest -still existing- High Colleges of State. And as the King is the President (and Amalia the future President) this is where the first official words are spoken.

So the Princess of Orange has three decorations now:

Ridder Grootkruis in de Orde van de Nederlandsche Leeuw 2021 ( see picture )

Chevalier l'Ordre du Lion d'Or de la Maison de Nassau 2021 ( see picture )

Inhuldigingsmedaille Willem-Alexander 2013 ( see picture )

Princess Amalia received a personal flag.

It is "cut out" (means: the flag is used by a lady).

An orange flag with a nassau-blue cross and coloured symbols = a born Princess of the Netherlands

A nassau-blue flag with an orange cross and uni-coloured symbols = a Princess of the Netherlands by marriage

The illustrations are from Wikipedia ( = free public domain )

Personal standard of HRH Princess Marie
The horn of Orange
The horn of Orange

Personal standard of HRH Princess Juliana
The horn of Orange
The bull of Mecklenburg

Personal standard of HRH Princess Beatrix
The horn of Orange
The rose of Lippe

Personal standard of HRH Princess Laurentien
The horn of Orange (in uni colour)
The lozenge of Van Brinkhorst (in uni colour)

Personal standard of HRH Princess Máxima ("Queen Máxima")
The horn of Orange (in uni colour)
The tower of Zorreguieta (in uni colour)

Personal standard of HRH Princess Catharina-Amalia
The horn of Orange
The tower of Zorreguieta

I wonder whether Amalia's future spouse will get the lion (as did her grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-greatgrandfather) or the horn (as did her mother (and aunt) but also her father and uncles). It will most certainly be yellow on a blue background. The horn represents the house of Orange and the lion represents the Netherlands... So, my theory is that it will depend on whether her spouse will only be made a prince of the Netherlands (resulting in a lion) or also a prince of Orange-Nassau (trumping the lion and using the horn of the house of Orange).
The official list of all distinctions (orders/medals etc) in the Netherlands in the order of importance.

The first 13 (1-7 are 'Knight orders or similar'; 8-13 are 'House orders or similar')
1. Militaire Willemsorde [Military Willem's Order]
2. Kruis van Moed en Trouw [Cross of Courage and Loyalty]
3. Eresabel [Honorary Sabel]
4. Verzetskruis [Resistance Cross]
5. Erepenning voor Menslievend Hulpbetoon [Badge of Honour for Humanitarian Aid]

6. Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw [Order of the Netherlands' Lion]
7. Orde van Oranje-Nassau [Order of Orange-Nassau]
8. Huisorde van de Gouden Leeuw van Nassau [House Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau] (N.B. Shared with Luxembourg)
9. Huisorde van Oranje [House order of Orange]
10. Kruis van Trouw en Verdienste van de Huisorde van Oranje [Cross of Loyalty and Merit of the House Order of Orange]
11. Eremedaille voor Voortvarendheid en Vernuft [Medal of Honour for Perseverance and Ingenuity]
12. Eremedaille voor Kunst en Wetenschap [Medal of Honour for Arts and Science]

13. Kroonorde [Crown Order]

Those in italics don't have multiple grades within the order (mostly either a cross or a medal)
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Is there a particular reason why the shield in the coats of arms of members of the Dutch royal family uses a "modern French" design? Traditional Flemish shields used to be drawn with the Spanish design (round bottom) although the Belgian monarchy site now shows an "old French" or "English" design for King Philippe's shield. I wonder what the Dutch tradition is.
Royal Standard of The Netherlands

royal titles.

Did Maxima's father have a coat of arms or did Maxima receive a new coat of arms like Mary of Denmark received?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers and Thank you,

Queen Maxima's father is a commoner like you and I, nothing special.
According to an older post here, his family nevertheless had an old coat of arms which was discovered by the research of Dutch, Spanish and Argentinean heraldic experts and became the basis of the inescutcheon of the arms of Máxima and her children.

However the descendance can be traced back to 1560, Don José Antonio de Sorreguieta Oyarzábal, Gamboa y Sagastume (born 1777) is seen as the 'founder' of the Argentinean Zorreguieta's. He was a native of the village of Tolosa, that was established in the Virreinato del Río de la Plata toward end of the 18th century.

In 1790 Don José Antonio settled in the city of La Salta in where he figured as a "próspero comerciante" (rich merchant). He changed his long Spanish name into 'Zorreguieta' and he contracted a marriage with Doña Micaela Antonia Maurin Baamonde, with whom he left a noticeable and prolific descent. The Arms of the present Argentinean Zorreguieta family is based on the arms of their direct ancestors, the Sorreguieta Oyarzábal family.

The Netherlands High Council of Nobility was helped by its Spanish equivalent, the Real Cuerpo Colegiado de Hijosdalgo de la Nobleza de Madrid and by Argentinean genealogical and heraldical institutes and finally they found the Sorreguieta Oyarzábal arms described as 'A fortified castle with three towers, in red, flanked at both sides by a black wolve, stretching in front of a green cypres'.
Royal Standard of Queen Maxima

Coat of Arms of the Princesses Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane
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Coat of Arms of Queen Maxima
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Monogram of Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange


Monogram of Queen Maxima

Coat of Arms of Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane


This one is of Princess Máxima, an oval shield for a female spouse to a Prince of the Netherlands.


Sons = normal shield
Daughters = lozenge shield (See Juliana) or normal shield
Wives = oval shield
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Royal flag of the Princess of Orange and her sisters:

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