Medals and Norwegian orders

Photo: Marianne Bakos / Statsforvalteren i Nordland.

The King's Medal of Merit was instituted by HRH King Haakon VII on 1 February 1908. It is awarded in recognition of achievements of particular benefit to society.

The King's Medal of Merit is awarded in recognition of:

  • pioneering or other exceptional achievements which were of particular benefit to society, in fields such as art, culture, science, business and social and humanitarian work
  • particularly meritorious unpaid contributions made over a longer period of time in public life, in relation to a public or private post, as part of a voluntary organisation or in line with another socially beneficial enterprise
  • particularly meritorious work over a long period of time in public or private service with an exceptional level of commitment and where, above and beyond their work, the person in question has also demonstrated an active commitment to social causes
  • an exemplary life’s work

The statutes for conferment of the King's Medal of Merit change in line with developments in society. The last change was made on 30 March 2012. Under these new statutes, when candidates are evaluated, particular attention will be paid to contributions to society made over a longer period of time, including voluntary work and commitments. At the same time, importance will no longer be attached to a period of service of 40 years or more.

This change also means that the designation “the King's Medal of Merit in Silver” will be discontinued and replaced by “the King's Medal of Merit”. The King's Medal of Merit in Gold will henceforth only be conferred in the most exceptional of cases and cannot be applied for. 

The Order of St Olav

The  Order of St Olav was instituted by King Oscar on 21 August 1847, and was last revised on 15 January 1997. The order is conferred in recognition of “distinguished service to country and mankind”.

Applications concerning the King's Medal of Merit and the Order of St Olav should be directed to HRH the King and sent via the County Governor for the county in which the candidate lives.

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