On 17 September 1898, just six days after the assassination of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, her husband created the Imperial Austrian Order of Elisabeth in her honour. It also paid tribute to Saint Elisabeth of Hungary.
It was divided into three classes: Grand Cross, First and Second Class. In addition, there was an Elisabeth medal for civil merit. The medal consisted of a gold cross with arms stylised with lily blossoms. The blossoms were in three parts, with the two outer leaves in enamelled red and the middle one in enamelled white. Between the arms were green enamelled leaves and red flowers. The centre part showed an image of Saint Elisabeth, and on the back, it had a golden with the initial E for Elisabeth on the back.
The order was meant for women, regardless of their social status and religion, for merits in religious and charitable work. There were a total of 81 awards of the Grand Cross, 332 awards of the First Class, 500 awards of the Second Class and 208 awards of the medal.1
The order had to be returned upon the receipt’s death. The Order was abolished in 1918 with the end of the Empire.
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