On December 1, 1888, Wilhelm II. instituted the Prussian Crown-Order-Medal without setting up an institution document. On December 3, 1888, he submitted the "Allerhöchst genehmigten Festsetzungen über die Verleihungen der Krieger-Verdienst-, Kronen-Orden- und Rothen Adler-Medaille (institution about the Warrior-Merit-, the Crown-Order- and the Red Eagle-Medal)" to the President of the State Ministry and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fürsten von Bismarck. It came with the following words:
"1. Die Krieger-Verdienst-Medaille wird nur an Mannschaften nichtpreußischer Truppenteile vom Feldwebel abwärts und zwar
a) an solche Truppen, welche unlängst an einem Feldzuge teilgenommen haben, am schwarzweißen,
b) wo dies nicht der Fall ist, am weißschwarzen Bande verliehen.
( The Warrior-Merit-Medal will be awarded only to non-Prussian troops below the military grade of a sergeant 
a) to such troops, that already took part in one siege, on the black and white ribbon
b) on the white and black ribbon to troops that did not see any action.)
2. Die Kronen-Orden-Medaille wird nur an Unterbedienstete (Lakaien, Leibjäger, Kammerdiener, Hoffouriere pp) nichtpreußischer Hofhaltungen und zwar nur am statutenmäßigen Bande verliehen.
(The Crown-Order-Medal will be awarded to non-Prussian state servants, but only on the white and orange ribbon.)
3. Die Rothe Adler-Medaille gilt den sub 1 und 2 bezeichneten Medaillen gegenüber als die höhere und wird am orangeweißen Bande nur an solche Personen verliehen, welche die Krieger-Verdienst-Medaille bzw. die Kronen-Orden-Medaille gemäß 1b bzw. 2 bereits besitzen.
(The Red Eagle-Medal is of higher rank compared to the medals in 1 and 2 and will be awarded on an orange and white ribbon only to those who already have been awarded with the Warrior-Merit-Medal or Crown-Order-Medal after 1b or 2.) 

An Mannschaften, die gemäß 1a die Krieger-Verdienst-Medaille am schwarzweißen Bande besitzen, wird als höhere Dekoration nicht die Rothe Adler-Medaille, sondern das Militär-Ehrenzeichen 2. Klasse eventl. 1. Klasse verliehen werden.
(the Red Eagle-Medal will not be awarded to enlisted men, who after 1a already have been awarded with the Warrior-Merit-Medal on the black and white ribbon, as a higher decoration, but the Military-Honor-Medal 2nd and under certain circumstances the 1st class)"

On July 11, Bismarck was informed that the Crown Order Medal could also be awarded to non-Prussian state servants that were under private contract.

The background for the institution of the Crown-Order-Medal was that Wilhelm II. now had a medal he could award to people that didn't belong to the military or were states servants. The Red Eagle-Medal and the Medal for Common Merit were not designed for these purposes.

At least 5,037 medals have been awarded between 1888 and 1918.

The design changed during it's existents. It was made in gilt bronze until September 1916, and then in gilt zinc. Attached to the medal was a crown. The crown went through various design changes. Until September 1916, the crown was welded to the medal. After this date, the medal and the crown were coined in one piece, with parts of the crown sawed out. The last model was only coined and left massive without doing any work to the crown. This type was used in 1918.

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averse reverse

While you can find the early types quite often in auctions or on medal trade shows, the last model is very rare and difficult to obtain. No wonder, in 1918 only only 38 medals were awarded in total:

01.02.1918. Aufenthalt S.M. in Konstantinopel
22.02.1918 Aufenthelt des Kaisers von Österreich in Bad Homburg v.d.H.
12.05.1918 Anwesenheit des Kaisers von Österreich im Gr.H.Q.
08.06.1918 Hinterstellung des Hofzuges in Trelon und Bosmont im (Gr.H.Q.)
20.06.1918 Anwesenheit des Kaisers von Österreich im Gr.H.Q.
14.08.1918 Anwesenheit des Kaisers von Österreich im Gr.H.Q.
20.06.1918 Anwesenheit S.M. bei Krupp

© A. Schulze Ising, II/99