Wednesday 3 October 2007

Mystery of Saddam Hussein & the Order of the Dannebrog

A Knight's Cross of the Order of Dannebrog has been put up for sale by Haitham Rashid Wihaib, a former advisor to Saddam Hussein. Queen Margrethe has requested it be withdrawn from sale and returned to Denmark. It is not yet clear how Saddam Hussein came to be in possession of the order, as he was never given one. The cross pictured on the website among items for sale by Haitham Rashid Wihaib appears to be from the time of Christian X, Queen Margrethe's grandfather, who was alive when Saddam Hussein was 10 years old. It is still a puzzle as to how it came to be in Hussein's possession. It is customary for orders to be returned after the death of the recipient as they are given to a person, not a country and they are not passed on to family.

At the time of this post the item was withdrawn from sale, where it is now noted:
Item Price:
Item Origin and Description:
This item has been removed and is not for
sale and will be returned to the Royal Family of Denmark.

The Official Website of Haitham Rashid Wihaib - scroll down a way to see the Dannebrog item

Kingdom of Denmark: The Order of the Dannebrog
Rosenborg: Order of Dannebrog
Order of Dannebrog on wikipedia

Fredericia Dagblad
TV2 news clip (2:09) at the Royal Archives

Oh dear! From Danish Orders of Chivalry:

...The insignia of the Order must be returned upon the death of the holder.


"It is acquired through distinguished service and actions; such as: excellent proof of courage, insight and manliness for the warrior, or faith, insight and zeal for the civil servant, through devotion to the King, the country and fellow citizens; through successful accomplishment of difficult ventures where no pains were spared, to the benefit of the State; through progress made in science and in the arts to the glory of the nation; through ingenious inventions whereby new sources of wealth are opened to the State and through generally useful, new and beneficial plants in the nation's agriculture, industry and trade.
Convinced that the upright person, next to the stimuli of religion and morality, considers the Honour as the purest and noblest mainspring of everything Good, and that he, next to the gratifying feeling of having been useful, considers the esteem of his Sovereign and of his fellow citizens the most dignified reward, We have found that Our paternal purposes can best be achieved by means of an external symbol of recognized civic worth."

Royal letters patent concerning the extension of the
Order of the Dannebrog of 28 June 1808



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