|Imperial Austrian Order of Elizabeth |
|Type||Order of chivalry for women|
|Established||17 September 1898|
1898 - 1918 (National Order)
1918 - present (Dynastic Order)
17 November (Feast day)
|Royal house||House of Habsburg-Lorraine|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Awarded for||General welfare in Religious, Charitable or Philanthropic Merit|
|Status||Dormant since 1951|
|First induction||1898: Countess Irma Sztáray de Sztára et Nagymihály|
|Last induction||1951: Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen|
|Next (higher)||Order of Leopold|
|Next (lower)||Order of Franz Joseph|
|Equivalent||Order of the Iron Crown|
Ribbon of the Order
The Imperial Austrian Order of Elizabeth (German: Kaiserlich österreichischer Elisabeth-Orden), founded in 1898 by Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, was an order created for women. The order was the namesake of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, but it was created to honor and memorialize Franz Joseph's late wife, Empress-Queen Elisabeth.
The order was divided into three classes: Grand Cross, first and second classes. There was also an Elizabeth Medal for civil merit.
According to medal expert and collector Yuri Yashnev:
The award was intended for ladies, regardless of social status or religion, for merits in religious and charitable work. The award had four degrees - the Grand Cross, I Degree and II Degree, and also a cross of merit... Awards were made, personally, by the emperor... the badges and insignia of the Order were to be returned to the state upon the death of the member, or upon the advancement from a lower degree to a higher degree... There were 81 awards of the Grand Cross, 332 awards of the I Degree, 500 awards of the II Degree, and 208 awards of the Elizabeth Medal for merit, between 1898 and 1918, when the Order was disbanded with the collapse of the monarchy.