Order of the Swan

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The Order of the Swan (which is a knight order in Arkel) is named after the Swan. The swan symbolises harmony, mercy, enlightenment and perfection. In Arkel, the swan has, following an old legend, another meaning. In the time of the Vikings, the grandfather of a Van Arkel fled to France, there it was much safer than in the Land of Arkel, nearby the city of Gorinchem. His grandson returned to the Low Countries (now: The Netherlands) on a swan. The swan flew back to the homeland, without any troubles.

The Knight Order is the second highest order and does not have any quota.


  • The decorated are allowed to put OVDZ in front of their name.
  • Decorated get the title Weledele Heer/Mevrouw, which means in English: The Right Honourable.


  • Member
  • Knight
  • Officer
  • Commander
  • Grand Officer
  • Knight Grand Cross
  • Grand Master or Sovereign


Only the Prince can nominate members, after he consulted the members of his cabinet.

No-one can nominate themselves. If that happen, the person loses:

  • All noble titles, for himself and his offspring (except for already-born children)
  • All other decorations within the Principality of Arkel
  • Government job

Someone else can send a request to the government. The government will think about this and come to a decision.