Chancellor of the Netherlands Orders
The duties and responsibilities of the Chancellor of the Netherlands Orders are:
- to advise on all matters relating to Orders and official decorations
- to protect the interests of the official decorations and their recipients
- to preserve the integrity and dignity of the Dutch honours system.
In addition, the Chancellor chairs the Military Order of William Council and is a member of the Civil Honours Council. He acts on behalf of His Majesty the King, who is the Grand Master of all the Dutch Orders. When it comes to supervision of the honours system as a whole, the Chancellor’s superior is the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
Until 1844 the Military Order of William and the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands each had their own chancellor, as is normally the case with European orders of knighthood. Since that date the two posts have been held by a single person with the title ‘Chancellor of the Netherlands Orders’. The first Chancellor was Lieutenant General Baron Hendrik Merkus de Kock, appointed in 1844. The present Chancellor is Major General (retd) Henk Morsink, formerly Adjutant General to His Majesty the King. He took office on 1 January 2015.