The Order of Saint Anne was established on 14 February 1735 by Duke Charles Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein in honor of his deceased wife, Anna Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great. On 15 April 1797, it was established as a Russian Order and divided into four classes by Emperor Paul I.
Awarded for a distinguished career in civil
service or valor and distinguished service in the military, the highly prized Order of
Saint Anne entitled first class recipients to hereditary nobility while recipients of the
second, third and fourth classes gained personal nobility. For military recipients, it was
awarded with swords.