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

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


The Knight Officer is the third of the four possible ranks:

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)

Promotion is possible through nomination based on additional outstanding service and merit, as well as contributions to the Order. Knight Officers are entitled to a lapel badge, specific post-nominal letters, and certain knightly styles and forms of address.

KOTL Badge
Lapel Badge

Knight Officers of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions are awarded a lapel badge. This medal should only be worn on formal or business formal attire, ideally on a lapel or on the torso where a brooch or other medal might be worn. This badge is appropriate for most occasions and should always be worn at official events of the Order or the Dukedom. The lapel badge was designed to be a more useful, minimalist, and modern form of the ribboned badges and lapel rosettes used by other orders.

Please note that some nations and militaries restrict or have their own requirements for wearing honours awarded by other nations, states, nobles, noble houses, or organisations. Members are responsible for ensuring they follow all the necessary rules and regulations based on their nation of residence and citizenship.

How to Wear the KOTL Lapel Badge
Lapel Badge on Women's Suit Lapel Badge on Women's Dress Lapel Badge on Women's Gown
Lapel Badge on Men's Suit Lapel Badge on Men's Dinner Jacket Lapel Badge on Men's Full Evening Dress Suit
KOTL Post-Nominal Letters

All recipients of knighthoods from the Order are allowed to use abbreviations after their full names to indicate their rank in the Order. For the Knight Officer of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions rank, the post-nominal letters are KOTL in English and RODL in German. These are the official abbreviations and cannot be altered. Like academic titles, these abbreviations are used after the forename(s), surname(s), and a comma. The post-nominal letters can be used with (Sir John Smith, KOTL) or without (John Smith, KOTL) the knightly prefix. Post-nominal letters are never used after a forename alone.

If one has a right to multiple post-nominal letters, they should appear in order of precedence: royal orders granted by a reigning monarch (such as the Order of the Garter), state orders granted by an existing state (such as the Order of Merit awarded by many nations), dynastic or house orders (including the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions), and academic degrees and occupational abbreviations (such as MD, PhD, MA, or CPA).

KOTL 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. 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, KOTL or Dame Jane
Dame Jane Smith, RODL or Dame Jane
Dame Jane, Ritterin von Smith, RODL or Dame Jane


Traditionally Male

Sir John Smith, KOTL or Sir John
Sir John, Ritter von Smith, KOTL or Sir John
John Ritter von Smith, RODL


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