Belgian Congo: Royal Order of the Lion, 1st type, Knight's breast badge, in silver, gilt and enamels, width 39.5 mm. Very Rare. Condition: very slight enamel damage, Very Fine. The Royal Order of the Lion was established by King Leopold II of the Belgians on 9 April 1891, in his capacity as ruler of the Congo Free State, and was awarded for services to Congo and its ruler that did not deserve the award of the ORder of the African Star and were not necessarily performed from within the Congo. It was incorporated into the Belgian honours system following the annexation of the Congo Free State by Belgium. The motto of the Order is Travail et progrès . The King of the Belgians is its Grand Master. Even though Congo is no longer a Belgian colony, it is still considered to be a Belgian Order. The Royal Order of the Lion is awarded by Royal Decree. Following the independence of Congo in 1960, the Royal Order of the Lion is no longer awarded.