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Venera de la Orden de Carlos III.svg

The Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Carlos III was established by the King of Spain Carlos III by means of the Royal Decree of 19 September 1771, with the motto Virtuti et mérito. Its objective is to reward people for their actions in benefit to Spain and the Crown. Since its creation, it has been the most distinguished civil award that can be granted in Spain, despite its categorisation as a military order. It was formally converted to a civil order in 1847.

The Order was later regulated in an Royal Decree of 1992[1] (in which was set the objective of "rewarding the citizens who, with their effort, initiative and work, have brought a distinguished and extraordinary service to the Nation") and by an Order of 8 May 2000.[2]

Today the Grand Master of the order is King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

The Grand Cross

The Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III is reserved for those who, having completed relevant service to Spain, having been Presidents of the Congress of Deputies, the Senate, the Constitutional Court of the Supreme Judicial Council, the Supreme Court, Ministers or other senior officials of the state. The maximum number of Grand Crosses are limited to one hundred, not counting those accorded to Ministers.


  1. ^ (Spanish) Royal Decree 1051/2002, 11 October, by which the Regulation of the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Carlos III is passed
  2. ^ (Spanish) Order of 8 May 2000 by which the Regulation of the Royal and Very Distinguished Order of Carlos III is adapted to the current circumstances and conditions.


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