The Civil Order of Savoy
This was founded on 29 October 1831 by Carlo Alberto, King of Sardinia, with just one rank, to reward the civil virtues and merit of those not belonging to the military (Military Order of Savoy 1815-1946). The original statutes state that “it can be awarded by the Grand Master of the Order, who is the Head of the House of Savoy”.
The Order was reserved for Italians, in particular those standing out or famous for the valour of their work, amongst “scientists”, “scholars”, “administrators”, “engineers”, “architects”, “artists”, “authors and publishers of discoveries”, “professors of science and literature”, “principals of education”.
Those awarded the Order were entitled to the military honours reserved for inferior officers. The maximum was seventy members.
The decoration consists in a golden Savoy Cross, enamelled in blue, loaded with a white shield with the initials “C.A.” (Carlo Alberto) in gold, replaced by the initials “V.E.” (Vittorio Emanuele II) after Carlo Alberto died, and “for Civil Merit 1831” inscribed on the back.
Following the death of H.M. Umberto II, King of Italy, his son HRH Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, Head of the Order and Arms of the Royal House of Savoy, is the VI Grand Hereditary Master of the Order.