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Aga Khan awarded France’s highest civilian honour

  • Published at 12:34 am September 25th, 2018
President Emmanuel Macron and His Highness the Aga Khan after their meeting at the Élysée Palace.  AKDN  Cécile Genest
President Emmanuel Macron and His Highness the Aga Khan after their meeting at the Élysée Palace AKDN Cécile Genest

The Grand-croix de la Légion d’honneur is the highest French Medal of Honour and was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte

President Emmanuel Macron on September 19 awarded Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour in recognition of his contribution to humanity and achievements in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations around the world.

France’s highest national medal of honour was bestowed upon the Aga Khan at a ceremony at le Quai d’Orsay by France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian in commemoration of the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee, commemorating 60 years as Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslim community

The Grand-croix de la Légion d’honneur is the highest French Medal of Honour and was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. Previous recipients include Prince Charles, Emperor Akihito (Japan), King Willem-Alexander (The Netherlands), Václav Havel (The Czech Republic), King Hussein (Jordan) as well as French presidents and former prime ministers.

Aga Khan spoke about the importance he placed on a partnership he felt was built on shared values. 

“For years, we have worked together in different fields, in France, abroad and always in a close partnership, of common points of view, of common objectives and, above all, respect for all the great values of France. For me this partnership is particularly important. It is a partnership built on historical values. And these historical values have proven themselves around the world. These are values of French origin, but which today are universal values.” 

The award ceremony was followed by a dinner hosted by the French government in honour of the Aga Khan, and attended by government officials and leading members of French social, economic and cultural civil society organizations. Members of his Highness’ family – his brother Prince Amyn, his son Prince Rahim and his daughter Princess Zahra – were also in attendance together with senior leaders from the Aga Khan Development Network and the Ismaili community.

The event was part of a two-day visit in honour of the Aga Khan’s life’s work. On September 18, President Macron received the Aga Khan at the Élysée Palace.