Harman Patil (Editor)

Order of Prince Danilo I

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Order of Prince Danilo I

State Order (formerly)House Order (currently)

Royal house
House of Petrović-Njegoš

Awarded for
Championing and preserving Montenegrin independence.

Grand Master
Nicholas Petrović Njegoš II

Vice-Grand Master
Boris, Hereditary Prince of Montenegro

The Order of Prince Danilo I of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Орден Књаза Данила I, Orden Knjaza Danila I) was an order of the Principality, and later Kingdom, of Montenegro. It is currently granted as a dynastic honor by the undisputed head of the House of Petrović-Njegoš, Nicholas Petrović Njegoš II. Although no longer a state order, recognition is indicated by the acceptance of the former President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović,. More formal recognition by the Republic of Montenegro, is implicit in the 2011 "Law on the Status of the Descendants of the Petrović Njegoš Dynasty" which Recognizes the current crown prince as head of the Royal Family and specifically sanctions the use of the royal family's heraldic symbols. The act also provides the Crown Prince housing and a pension and has been noted as conferring a sort of "quasi restoration" of the throne. In a May 15th Pobjeda newspaper interview, Prince Nikola cited Article 3 of this law, as the basis for his May 5th re-institution of the Order, which he emphasized was "historically an extremely valuable Montenegrin decoration."" He went on to explain that the order can be awarded to Montenegrin nationals and worthy foreigners on two general grounds: (1), for support and affirmation of Montenegrin independence and the royal tradition of the Petrovic Njegos dynasty, and (2) to those whose "scientific or social work contributed to the development of culture, art and science." The Order has since been bestowed on a number of high dignitaries internationally. In an April 17th 2016 visit to Rome, HRH Prince Nikola II Petrovic Njegoš met with Pope Francis and other high Vatican officials bestowing the dynastic honor on the Cambodian ambassador, His Highness Prince Sisowath Ravivaddhana Monipong, the Montenegrisn ambassador to the Holy See Veselin Šuković, as well as the U.S. AMbassador to the Holy See Kenneth Francis Hackett, the ambassador of Hungary, HIRH Eduard von Habsburg-Lothringen among several other Vatican officials and Italian nobles. The official Representative of the Royal House and the order is H.E. Giuseppe Tedischi GCDO, who also has the Vatican charge "Addetto di Anticamera di Sua Santità," or Officer of Antechamber of His Holiness.


The Order was the first Montenegrin dynastic and state Order established by Prince Danilo Petrović Njegoš in 1853, as the Order of Danilo I for the Independence of Montenegro in 1852-53. This Decoration is still awarded to prominent champions of the preservation of Montenegrin independence and, as indicated above, for other humanitarian, scientific, artistic and pro-social achievements pursuant to the conditions by which the Order is awarded were defined by Statute.

Alterations were made to the appearance of the original decoration created by Prince Danilo and during the rule of His Majesty King Nikola I Petrović Njegoš the Order underwent two restructures. During the first restructure in 1861, three classes were introduced, while in the second restructure, from 1873, an additional class was added, so that not only is there a star in the 1st class but also a 2nd class with star was introduced. By 1922, the order consisted of five classes: Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and knight or Chevalier. More changes occurred and today's five classes are:

Grand Cross I, (Sash and Large Chest Star)--Cavaliere di Grande Croce (1st Class)

Grand Officer II (Neck Cross, Sash, Chest Star)--Grande Uffiale (2nd Class)

Knight Commander III Neck Cross, Chest Star--Commendatore (3rd Class)

Knight IV Chest Cross--Cavaliere (4th Class)

Member V Chest Cross (Black and Silver--Member (5th Class)

On Saturday June 4, 2005, Cetinje, the old Royal Capital of Montenegro, hosted the first gala ceremony of the Order in the country since 90 years.

Classes and Post Nominals

  • Grand Cross (1st Class) [GCDO]
  • Grand Officer (2nd Class) [GODO]
  • Knight Commander (3th Class) [KCDO]
  • Knight (4th Class) [KDO]
  • Member (5th Class) [MDO]
  • Officers of the Order

  • Grand Master: Crown Prince Nikola II of Montenegro
  • Vice-Grand Master and Grand Chancellor: The Grand Duke of Grahovo and Zeta (2012)
  • Grand Prefect: John James, GCDO
  • Notable recipients

    Many deserving men and women have been awarded the Order of Prince Danilo I over time including foreigners. The list includes:


  • Emperor Alexander III of Russia
  • Emperor Nicholas II of Russia
  • Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria
  • King Christian X of Denmark
  • Prince Arthur of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
  • Nikola Tesla
  • James Gatz
  • Artur Schnabel
  • Stepa Stepanović
  • Živojin Mišić
  • Sol Butler
  • Ulysses Lappas
  • Baron Eugen von Albori
  • Baron Wladimir Giesl von Gieslingen
  • General John J. Pershing
  • Sergeant Alvin York
  • Major Samuel Woodfill
  • Post-Abeyance

  • Princess Francine Petrović Njegoš of Montenegro (1950-2008)
  • Princess Altinaï of Montenegro
  • Fra' Andrew Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1929-2008)
  • Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco
  • Prince Nicholas of Russia
  • Prince Dimitri of Russia
  • Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, Prince of Naples
  • Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice
  • Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and his wife Isabel de Hérédia
  • Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, Prince of Belgium
  • Prince Henri VII, Count of Paris, Duke of France
  • Prince Don Ferdinando, Duke of Castro (1926-2008)
  • Prince Don Carlo, Duke of Castro
  • Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro
  • Nebojša Kaluđerović, Ambassador of Montenegro to the United Nations
  • Antun Sbutega, Ambassador of Montenegro to the Holy See and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
  • John Gvozdenović Kennedy, GCDO (Diamond Star & Collar), OStP, Former Grand Chancellor
  • Fra' Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Lieutenant ad interim of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
  • Fra' Jean-Pierre Mazery, Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
  • Fra' Albrecht, Baron von Boeselager, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
  • Fra' Marquess Gian Luca Chiavari, Receiver of the Common Treasure of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
  • Frà Franz von Lobstein, Grand Prior Emeritius of Rome of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1921-2012)
  • Cardinal Pio Laghi (21 May 1922 - 11 January 2009)
  • Marquess Aldo Pezzana Capranica del Grillo
  • Dr. Otto F. von Feigenblatt, Count of Kobryn
  • Dr Massimo Barra, President of the Italian Red Cross
  • Prince Nguyễn Phúc Bảo Thắng, Head of the Imperial House of Vietnam
  • Alfonso de Ceballos-Escalera y Gila, Duke of Ostuni, Marquess of La Floresta
  • Gonfanon of the Italian Red Cross
  • Gonfanon of the Sicilian Region
  • Gonfanon of Palermo
  • Gonfanon of Messina
  • In the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby, the main character, Jay Gatsby, was also awarded the Order of Prince Danilo I "For Valor Extraordinary".


    Order of Prince Danilo I Wikipedia