Order of Saint Anna (Redirected from Order of St. Anna)

Imperial Order of Saint Anna
Орден Святой Анны
Star of the Order
Awarded by Head of the House of Romanov
TypeDynastic Order
Royal houseHouse of Romanov
Religious affiliationRussian Orthodox
MottoAmantibus Justitiam, Pietatem, Fidem
To those who Love Justice, Piety, and Fidelity
StatusRarely awarded
Grades1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Class, with the Anna medal awarded for meritorious service.
Next (higher)Imperial Order of St. Prince Vladimir
Next (lower)Imperial Order of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

Ribbon of the order

The Imperial Order of Saint Anna (Russian: Орден Святой Анны; also "Order of Saint Anne" or "Order of Saint Ann") was a Holstein ducal and then Russian imperial order of chivalry. It was established by Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, on 14 February 1735, in honour of his wife Anna Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great of Russia.

Originally, the Order of Saint Anna was a dynastic order of knighthood; but between 1797 and 1917 it had dual status as a dynastic order and as a state order. The Order of St. Anna continued to be awarded after the revolution by Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, and Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna. Today, the Russian Imperial Order of St. Anna, awarded by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna is recognized as an order of chivalry by the privately operated ICOC as a continuation of the pre-Revolutionary order, and has been approved for wear with military uniform by the Russian Federation, but not by some members of the Romanov Family Association.

Membership of the Order was awarded for a distinguished career in civil service or for valour and distinguished service in the military. The Order of Saint Anna entitled recipients of the first class to hereditary nobility, and recipients of lower classes to personal nobility. For military recipients, it was awarded with swords. It is now usually awarded for meritorious service to the Imperial House of Russia.

Recipients of the Order of St. Andrew (K.A.) (including grand dukes, who received the order at baptism, and princes of the Imperial blood, who received it at their majority) simultaneously received the first class of the Order of Saint Anna. The Emperor himself was the hereditary grand master of the Order.

The motto of the Order is "Amantibus Justitiam, Pietatem, Fidem" ("To those who love justice, piety, and fidelity"). Its festival day is 3 February (New Style, 16 February). The Head of the Imperial House of Russia always is Master of the imperial Order of Saint Anna.


At first, the Order had but one class and was named the "Order of Anna". The statutes of the Order promulgated in 1735 established as the principal insignia a red-enameled gold cross, with an image of Saint Anne imposed upon the centre of the cross; the reverse bore the initials "A.I.P.F." (for "Anna Imperatoris Petri Filia": "Anna, Emperor Peter's daughter" in Latin). The same letters also abbreviate the Latin motto (as the letter "J" did not exist in Latin, "Iustitiam" was the original spelling of the word now rendered "Justitiam").

In 1742, Karl Peter Ulrich, Duke Karl Friedrich's son, was declared the Russian heir apparent. After arriving in Russia, he presented the Order to several courtiers. On 15 April 1797, his own son, Emperor Paul I of Russia, established the Order as part of the Imperial Russian system of honours and divided it into three classes, renaming it the "Order of Saint Anna". Emperor Alexander I added a fourth class in 1815.

The title of Chekhov's well-known story Anna on the Neck refers both to the Order and to the heroine.

In Chapter IV of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov guesses that Luzhin must have, "...the Anna in his buttonhole and that he puts it on when he goes to dine with contractors or merchants."


Methods of wear

  • 1st class: Cross worn at the bow of a broad ribbon (ten centimeters wide, worn over the left shoulder), on the right hip; star of the Order (about 95 millimeters in diameter) worn on the right breast
  • 2nd class: Cross worn on a neck ribbon, 45 millimeters wide
  • 3rd class: Cross worn on the left ribbon, suspended from a ribbon 28 millimeters wide
  • 4th class: Cross borne on the pommel of an edged weapon, together with a silver-tasselled sword-knot of the ribbon of the Order

The medal ribbon was red with narrow yellow edging.

A recipient of higher classes of the Order would not wear the insignia of lower classes, unless he had also been awarded the fourth class (the insignia of which was borne on the hilt of a sword or other edged weapon).


Alan W. Hazelton, The Russian Imperial Orders; New York: The American Numismatic Society, 1932 (Numismatic Notes and Monograms, No. 51).

Guy Stair Sainty (Ed.) “World Orders of Knighthood and Merit” London: Burke's Peerage, 2006.

Notable recipients

List of recipients by class
1st Class
2nd Class
3rd Class
4th Class
Other or Unknown Classes

This page was last updated at 2024-02-04 13:33 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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