|Order of the Star of Romania|
Ordinul Steaua României
|Awarded by the King of Romania |
The President of Romania
|Type||Order of Merit|
|Country|| Kingdom of Romania |
|Eligibility||(1) Civil, Military;|
(2) Military units;
(3) Foreign citizens
|Criteria||(1) Exceptional civil and military services to the Romanian State and the Romanian people;|
(2) For special acts in time of peace or for heroic acts in time of war;
(3) For contributing to the development of the friendship relations with Romania, or for other exceptional services to the Romanian State and the Romanian People.
|Grand Master||President Klaus Iohannis|
|Next (higher)||Order of Michael the Brave|
|Next (lower)||Order of Faithful Service|
The Order of the Star of Romania (Romanian: Ordinul Steaua României) is Romania's highest civil Order and second highest State decoration after the Order of Michael the Brave. It is the oldest Order of Romania. It is awarded by the President of Romania, and has six grades, from lowest to the highest: Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, Grand Cross, and Grand Cross with Collar.
In 1863, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Domnitor of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, asked the Romanian representative to Paris to contact the then well-known jewellery house Krétly, to manufacture a state decoration. Krétly presented a model, which was immediately accepted by the domnitor, and based on his agreement, 1,000 pieces of the order were made. It was decided that the order would have five ranks: Knight (Cavaler), Officer (Ofițer), Commander (Comandor), Grand Officer (Mare Ofițer), and Grand Cross (Mare Cruce). 
Unlike all other decorations in that time that were mostly inspired on the French Légion d'honneur, or which had their insignia like a Maltese cross, the model proposed by Krétly for this order was a blue cross crosslet (cruce repetată), a design that was then unique in decorational design. 
The domnitor decided that the name of the honour would be "The Order of the Union" ("Ordinul Unirii"). It was planned to institute the order on 24 January 1864, the date when the 5th anniversary of his election would be celebrated and a moment that marked the unification of the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Because of this, the motto of the new order would fit the event: "GENERE ET CORDES FRATRES" ("BROTHERS THROUGH ORIGINS AND FEELINGS"). The obverse of the insignia would bear the numbers "5" and "24", the days of January when he was elected in both Moldova and Wallachia. 
However, due to the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup, he was unable to actually institute the order, and he awarded the insignia therefore only as a personal present, not as a state decoration. Most of the insignia produced for him remained stored in the Royal Palace's cellars. 
In April 1877, when Romania gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, the debate regarding the institution of Romanian decorations was revived. Mihail Kogălniceanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Ion Brătianu cabinet, took part in the debates in the Assembly of Deputies regarding the institution of a state decoration. Because of the already earlier supplied "Order of The Union", it was decided that the shape of the decoration would be the same, modifying only the domnitor's seal. The motto was also changed, because the old one was not appropriate to the moment, to "IN FIDE SALUS" ("IN FAITH IS THE SALVATION"). Regarding the name, Kogălniceanu insisted on "Steaua Dunării" ("The Star of The Danube"). 
The name "Steaua României" ("The Star of Romania") appeared on 10 May 1877, when the law was voted in the Parliament, as the first law of the Sovereign Romania. 
By Royal Decree (no. 1545/1932), King Carol II changed the order of precedence in the Romanian honours system. As a result, in 1932, The Star of Romania dropped in precedence from second place (where it had been since 1906) to fourth place (after the Order of Carol I and the Order of Ferdinand I ). In 1937, it dropped to seventh place. The main shape of the order, the blue repeated cross (called also "Romanian cross") was kept, but the rays between the cross' arms were replaced by four heraldic eagles with wings spread, the insignia of King Carol I was placed on the obverse, and the reverse bore the year of its establishment, "1877". Also the number of persons that could be awarded The Star of Romania was increased:
In 1938, the order was given a superior rank, called "Clasa I" (First Class in English), between the Grand Officer rank and the Grand Cross rank, with a maximum of 50 civilians and 15 military personnel. 
The statutes established by King Carol II were changed by General Ion Antonescu (who became Conducător on 4 September 1940). Generally, the rules were the ones used during World War I. The order "The Star of Romania" became the second in the national hierarchy, after that of the Order of Michael the Brave. 
Inspired by the German Iron Cross, Ion Antonescu decided that the first three grades of the orders the Star of Romania and the Crown of Romania, with spades (swords), and the ribbon of The Medal "The Military Virtue" would be awarded for exceptionally brave acts with an oak leaf, attached to the ribbon. 
After 1948, all the existing decorations were outlawed, and their wearing was forbidden. Just by keeping the insignia, one was considered a delinquent in the first years of communism. 
In 1993, the idea of reinstating the oldest Order was proposed within the Special Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. After several attempts, in 1998/1999 the National Order "The Star of Romania" was reinstituted, with a design similar to the one used in 1932, but without the insignia of King Carol I, and with the republican insignia. 
As per Law 29/2000, regarding Romania's national system of decorations, there are currently six grades: 
|1||Jacques Chirac||President of France||1998|
|2||Alberto Fujimori||President of Peru|
|3||Martti Ahtisaari||President of Finland|
|4||Petar Stoyanov||President of Bulgaria|
|5||Aleksander Kwaśniewski||President of Poland||1999|
|6||Thomas Klestil||President of Austria|
|7||Konstantinos Stephanopoulos||President of Greece|
|8||Süleyman Demirel||President of Turkey|
|9||Harald V||King of Norway|
|10||Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani||Emir of Qatar|
|11||Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah||Emir of Kuwait|
|12||Nursultan Nazarbayev||President of Kazakhstan|
|13||Rexhep Meidani||President of Albania|
|14||Ezer Weizman||President of Israel|
|15||Petru Lucinschi||President of Moldova||2000|
|16||Elizabeth II||Queen of the United Kingdom|
|17||Jorge Sampaio||President of Portugal|
|18||Árpád Göncz||President of Hungary|
|19||Margrethe II||Queen of Denmark|
|20||Rudolf Schuster||President of Slovakia|
|21||Stjepan Mesić||President of Croatia|
|22||Ernesto Zedillo||President of Mexico|
|23||Fernando Henrique Cardoso||President of Brazil|
|24||Bhumibol Adulyadej||King of Thailand|
|25||Leonid Kuchma||President of Ukraine|
|26||Émile Lahoud||President of Lebanon||2001|
|27||Kofi Annan||Secretary-General of the United Nations|
|28||Beatrix||Queen of the Netherlands|
|29||Valdas Adamkus||President of Lithuania|
|30||Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga||President of Latvia|
|31||Andrew Bertie||Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta||2002|
|32||Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan||President of United Arab Emirates|
|33||Gloria Macapagal Arroyo||President of Philippines|
|34||Milan Kučan||President of Slovenia|
|35||Ferenc Mádl||President of Hungary|
|36||George W. Bush||President of the United States|
|37||Mauro Chiaruzzi||Captains Regent of San Marino|
|38||Giuseppe Maria Morganti||Captains Regent of San Marino|
|39||Zine El Abidine Ben Ali||President of Tunisia||2003|
|40||Carl XVI Gustaf||King of Sweden|
|41||Juan Carlos I||King of Spain|
|42||Carlo Azeglio Ciampi||President of Italy|
|43||Arnold Rüütel||President of Estonia|
|44||Henri I||Grand Duke of Luxembourg||2004|
|45||Angelo Sodano||Cardinal Secretary of State|
|46||Eddie Fenech Adami||President of Malta|
|47||Giuseppe Arzilli||Captains Regent of San Marino|
|48||Roberto Raschi||Captains Regent of San Marino|
|49||Ricardo Lagos||President of Chile|
|50||Ilham Aliyev||President of Azerbaijan|
|51||Abdullah II||King of Jordan||2005|
|52||Tarja Halonen||President of Finland||2006|
|53||George Emil Palade||Professor||2007|
|54||Tarcisio Bertone||Cardinal Secretary of State||2008|
|55||Matthew Festing||Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta|
|56||Lech Kaczyński||President of Poland||2009|
|57||Michel Suleiman||President of Lebanon|
|58||Albert II||Prince of Monaco|
|59||Albert II||King of the Belgians|
|60||Mihai Ghimpu||President of Moldova||2010|
|61||George Abela||President of Malta|
|62||Valdis Zatlers||President of Latvia||2011|
|63||Toomas Hendrik Ilves||President of Estonia|
|64||Giorgio Napolitano||President of Italy|
|65||Pietro Parolin||Cardinal Secretary of State||2015|
|67||Aníbal Cavaco Silva||President of Portugal|
|68||Dalia Grybauskaitė||President of Lithuania||2016|
|69||Sergio Mattarella||President of Italy|
|70||Rosen Plevneliev||President of Bulgaria|
|71||Joachim Gauck ||President of Germany|
|72||Andrzej Duda||President of Poland|
|73||François Hollande||President of France|
|74||Andrej Kiska||President of Slovakia|
|75||Nicolae Timofti||President of Moldova|
|76||Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović||President of Croatia||2017|
|77||Charles III||King of the United Kingdom|
|79||Kersti Kaljulaid||President of Estonia||2021|
|80||Gitanas Nausėda||President of Lithuania||2022|
List of recipients by class
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