This is the Nguyen Dynasty’s Official Site of the Imperial Order of the Dragon of Annam
The Imperial Order of the Dragon of Annam (the Order) was established on March 14. 1886 by the Emperor Dong Khanh (1885-1889), the ninth Nguyen Emperor. He had been placed on the throne by the French Colonial Administration in lieu of his rebellious uncle, Ham Nghi. His reign was characterized by cooperation with the French authorities, which was considered the wisest course at that time.
The Order reflects a move away from the elaborate, traditional Vietnamese style of awards to a European style order. It was awarded by the Emperor at the Imperial Court at Hue from inception through the reign of Bao Dai, the last resident Emperor of Vietnam, who abdicated on August 25, 1945. It was also assumed in May of 1886 as an official national order of France and remained so until 1950. It could be awarded by the President of France upon the recommendation of the Minister of the Colonies. The Order was essentially replaced by the National Order of Vietnam, which was instituted on August 15, 1950, when the newly formed State of Vietnam was admitted to the French Union. Bao Dai coincidentally served as Chief of the State of Vietnam. It is unconfirmed, but believed that the Order may have been awarded sparingly by Bao Dai following his abdication in 1945. See comments under Bao Dai Versions below.
During the absence of the Nguyen Dynasty from their homeland, the Order remained the dynastic property of the Imperial Vietnamese House of Annam.
Following a period of some confusion, which began in 2002, the Imperial Order of the Dragon of Annam was securely and irrevocably placed in the rightful possession of the legitimate Head of the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty during 2005. His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Bao Long has asserted his hereditary rights as Sovereign of the Imperial Annamese Orders in succession to his late father, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Bao Dai.
It was further announced that the Grand Mastership of the Order has been entrusted to His Imperial Highness Prince Bao Vang, son of His Imperial Majesty the late Emperor Duy Tan. His Imperial Highness, who ranks behind the Crown Prince and his brothers in the order of succession to the Head of the Imperial House, agreed to assume the responsibilities of leadership for the Order as of August 5, 2005.
His Imperial Highness Prince Qui Luc has been named as Chancellor of the Order, in succession to the retiring Colonel Tran Van Ba. Prince Qui Luc had governed the Order as the Crown Prince's lieutenant from June 1 until August 5, 2005.
Going forward, there will be a profound change in direction for the Order, which will be focused on humanitarian, educational, and cultural endeavors rather than political goals. It is been made very clear to the Grand Council that the Imperial Family wishes to remain out of the political fray and focus on efforts to aid the poor and disenfranchised people in Vietnam as well as those outside the country, with particular emphasis given to children, the elderly, and the disabled.
The French Colonial version of this Order, known as the Order of the Green Dragon of Annam or 'Ordre du Dragon Vert', was placed in abeyance by the President of France in 1950. This in no way impacted the continued existence of the Imperial Order of the Dragon.
Emperor Dong Khanh (1885-1889)