Coat of Arms of the House of Bourgogne von Hohenstaufen

The Most Noble Order of the Three Lions

Hochedler Orden der Drei Löwen

Nobilissimus Ordo Trium Leonum


The Most Noble Order of the Three Lions is a dynastic order of chivalry, also known as a house order (hausorden), formed by the House of Bourgogne von Hohenstaufen to promote exemplary values by recognising and honouring those who perform outstanding acts of service (to the Dukedom, to the House of Bourgogne von Hohenstaufen, or to humanity) or who are of outstanding merit (recognised excellence in an area of expertise that is of benefit to humanity).

The name of the Order comes from the three lions on the Coat of Arms of Swabia. Lions in heraldry represent nobilitas (nobility), fortitudo (strength), and valor (valor), which also form the motto of the Order.

Coat of Arms of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions

The current Duke of Swabia broke with tradition and instituted full gender equality in the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions. The Duke rejects the outdated and sexist regulations followed by most other chivalric orders, some of which do not even allow non-male members. All members of the Order, regardless of gender identity or expression, are accepted as knights of equal standing within each rank.

The Duke also established the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions as the first chivalric order to allow members to choose the styles and forms of address that best describe them, regardless of gender identification or biological sex.

Knight/Ritterin/Dame Neck Badge

Lapel Badge

Knight/Ritter Neck Badge

Events

The Duke and Duchess are confirmed to be attending the events listed below. Members of the Order are encouraged to attend, and may contact the office of the Duke in order to arrange a meeting with Their Highnesses or for any questions about the events. Tickets, parking, travel, and other expenses are the responsibility of the members.

  • Opera Colorado: Falstaff
    Date and Time: 5 May 2018 at 7.30 PM
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    Suggested Dress: Black or White Tie with neck badges (GCTL and KCTL) or lapel badges (KOTL and KTL)

  • Central City Opera: Die Zauberflöte
    Date and Time: 7 July 2018 at 8.00 PM
    Location: Central City, Colorado
    Suggested Dress: Black or White Tie with neck badges (GCTL and KCTL) or lapel badges (KOTL and KTL)

  • Central City Opera: Il trovatore
    Date and Time: 14 July 2018 at 8.00 PM
    Location: Central City, Colorado
    Suggested Dress: Black or White Tie with neck badges (GCTL and KCTL) or lapel badges (KOTL and KTL)

High Council of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions

The High Council of the Order of the Three Lions is composed of the Duke as Grand Master, the Duchess, who holds the rank of Grand Knight Commander, and up to four Grand Knight Commanders of the High Council, officers of the Order chosen from the lower ranks. Vacancies on the High Council are filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Council in favour of an existing member of the Order.

Membership

Current members of the Order include specialists in medicine, academia, business and finance, physics, and technology, as well as those who work to advance the German language and Germanic cultures and heritage throughout the world.

The Duke places great importance on inclusivity, and the Order allows members from all backgrounds and does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, creed, or religion.


Selection Criteria

Honours cannot be bought. There are not and never will be any charges or dues associated with receiving honours. Not the Order, the Dukedom, the Duke, nor anyone else receives any compensation or remuneration of any sort, monetary or otherwise, prior to, in exchange for, in return for, or in response to receiving a knighthood. No donations, fees, political or economic favours, nor any other compensation of any form will be accepted for consideration for the Order.

Membership in the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions is awarded by the Duke based upon the recommendation of a majority of the Grand Knight Commanders of the High Council of the Order. All honours are awarded on the basis of outstanding service (to the Dukedom, to the Ducal Family, or to humanity) or outstanding merit (recognised excellence in an area of expertise that is of benefit to humanity).

Selection and evaluation results for a nomination will not be discussed with anyone.


Eligibility

Citizens of any country or of any nationality are eligible for awards. However, certain nations, states, governments, or militaries may restrict the acceptance of awards.


Nominations

Nominations should be submitted by someone with personal knowledge of the nominees, and can be submitted by the intended recipients of the awards themselves. All nomination forms will be maintained confidentially and periodically reviewed, so you do not need to resubmit the nomination even if your nominee is not granted the award immediately. However, multiple nominations from different nominators for the same nominee are favourable for the nominee’s selection. Selection and evaluation results for a nomination will not be discussed with anyone.

Please click the link below to access the nomination form in PDF form.

Nomination Form (PDF)

Members Recently Invested or Promoted

2017 End-of-Year Investitures
(In Alphabetical Order by Surname)

Sir Karol Berger, GCTL, Ph.D.
Professor of Musicology
Stanford University
For Services to Music and German Studies


Sir Albrecht Classen, GCTL, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of German Studies
University of Arizona
For Services to German and Medieval Studies


Dame Kelly Lao, KTL
Executive Director
German American Heritage Center & Museum
For Services to German and German-American Heritage


Sir William McDonald, GCTL, Ph.D.
Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures
University of Virginia
For Services to German and Medieval Studies


Dame Sara Poor, KCTL, Ph.D.
Professor of German
Princeton University
For Services to German and Medieval Studies


Sir Joseph Sullivan, KCTL, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medieval German Literature and Culture
University of Oklahoma
For Services to German and Medieval Studies

Ranks

Please click on a rank to view more details:

I. Grand Knight Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions (GCTL)

II. Knight Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions (KCTL)

III. Knight Officer of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions (KOTL)

IV. Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions (KTL)

Membership in the Order is highly restricted. Promotion to higher ranks is dependent upon ongoing service and merit, as well as vacancies. Members of the Order who belong to the Ducal Family are supernumerary members at their ranks.

Titles and Styles

As the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions is a dynastic order associated with the Dukedom of Swabia, but not owing allegiance to any existing nation, state, or government, all recipients of a knighthood in their own right are allowed to use the full styles and forms of address without restrictions based on nationality or citizenship. The examples below use the post-nominal letters for the Knight/Ritter rank (KTL/RDL). For examples of the other ranks and the badges associated with them, please select a rank below.

GCTL/GKDL

KCTL/RKDL

KOTL/RODL

KTL/RDL

Styles and titles are based on their historical counterparts, but have been updated to allow for the demands of a modern, multicultural word, as well as to offer anglicised equivalents. Please note that the Order of the Three Lions is a dynastic order of chivalry (Hausorden), like all other German orders of chivalry since 1919, so the titles and styles carry no legal weight and cannot be used on passports or to acquire citizenship. The badges, titles, and styles are intended for use socially in recognition of outstanding achievements. A member's knighthood, and the rank, privileges, titles, and styles appertaining, belong to that member for her/his lifetime, but are not inheritable by descendants. Members are allowed to choose from the following based on personal preference:


Traditionally Female

Dame Jane Smith, KTL or Dame Jane
Dame Jane Smith, RDL or Dame Jane
Dame Jane, Ritterin von Smith, RDL or Dame Jane


Traditionally Male

Sir John Smith, KTL or Sir John
Sir John, Ritter von Smith, KTL or Sir John
John Ritter von Smith, RDL


Spouses who do not have a knighthood in their own right are not permitted to use the post-nominal letters or a title before the forename, but are allowed a courtesy title before the surname only. Members' spouses are allowed to choose from the following based on personal preference:


Traditionally Female

Lady Smith or Jane, Lady Smith


Traditionally Male

Sir Smith or John, Sir Smith