Knight Bachelor

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Knight Bachelor
Knights Bachelor Insignia.png
The insignia of a knight bachelor devised in 1926
Awarded by
Sovereign of the United Kingdom
Awarded forPublic service
StatusCurrently constituted
Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II
Knight Principal Sir Gary Hickinbottom
Knight Bachelor Ribbon.png
Ribbon bar of the Knight Bachelor Medal

The title of Knight Bachelor is the basic rank granted to a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not inducted as a member of one of the organised orders of chivalry; it is a part of the British honours system. [1] Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight [2] (the rank existed during the 13th-century reign of King Henry III), but Knights Bachelor rank below knights of chivalric orders. A man who is knighted is formally addressed as "Sir [First Name] [Surname]" or "Sir [First Name]" and his wife as "Lady [Surname]".

Contents

Criteria

Knighthood is usually conferred for public service; amongst its recipients are all male judges of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice in England. It is possible to be a Knight Bachelor and a junior member of an order of chivalry without being a knight of that order; this situation has become rather common, especially among those recognised for achievements in entertainment. For instance, Sir Michael Gambon, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Elton John, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Barry Gibb, Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Sir Ian McKellen are Commanders of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBEs); Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Van Morrison are Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBEs); while Sir Lewis Hamilton, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) are Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). None of them would be entitled to use the honorific "Sir" by virtue of their membership of the order alone, but as they are all also Knights Bachelor, they are entitled to preface their names with that title.

Honorifics and post-nominal letters

Knights Bachelor may prefix "Sir" to their forenames and wives of Knights may prefix "Lady" to their surnames. [1] [3] [4] Since recipients are not knights of an order of chivalry there are no post-nominal letters associated with the honour, [5] however when the style "Sir" is awkward or incomplete due to a subsequent appointment, recipients may use the letters "Kt" after their name (note the lowercase "t" which distinguishes it from "KT"). This style is often adopted by Knights Bachelor who are also peers, baronets, or knights of the various chivalric orders. [3] In legal and official documents "Knight" should be added after the name instead of "Kt". [4]

Insignia

Until 1926 Knights Bachelor had no insignia which they could wear, but in that year King George V issued a warrant authorising the wearing of a badge on all appropriate occasions by Knights Bachelor; this badge is worn on the left side of the coat or outer garment. Measuring 2+38 inches (60 mm) in length and 1+38 inches (35 mm) in width, it is described in heraldic terms as follows: [6]

Upon an oval medallion of vermilion, enclosed by a scroll a cross-hilted sword belted and sheathed, pommel upwards, between two spurs, rowels upwards, the whole set about with the sword belt, all gilt.

In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II issued a further warrant authorising the wearing on appropriate occasions of a neck badge, slightly smaller in size, and in miniature. In 1988 a new certificate of authentication, a knight's only personal documentation, was designed by the College of Arms. [6]

Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor

The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was founded for the maintenance and consolidation of the Dignity of Knights Bachelor in 1908, and obtained official recognition from the Sovereign in 1912. The Society keeps records of all Knights Bachelor, in their interest.

Equivalence

There is no female counterpart to Knight Bachelor. The lowest knightly honour that can be conferred upon a woman is Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE), which is one rank higher than Knight Bachelor (being the female equivalent of KBE or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which is the next male knightly rank above Knight Bachelor).

Only citizens of Commonwealth realms can be created Knights Bachelor; people of other nationalities are generally made honorary KBEs. [7]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 "The British Honours System". www.churchill-society-london.org.uk. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  2. Neave, F.G.; Turner, Grange (1930). Mozley & Whiteley’s Law Dictionary (5th ed.). London: Butterworth & Co. p. 183.
  3. 1 2 "Form of address". Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Knight Bachelor". Forms of address. Debrett's. Archived from the original on 5 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. "Orders of Chivalry". British Government. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  6. 1 2 Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage 2019. https://www.debretts.com/product/debretts-peerage/: Debrett's. 2019. ISBN   9781999767006.
  7. "Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor". www.iskb.co.uk. Retrieved 23 May 2017.

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Necklet

A necklet is a type of decoration which is designed to be worn and displayed around a person's neck, rather than hung (draped) from the chest as is the standard practice for displaying most decorations.

Order of chivalry Order, confraternity or society of knights

An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired by the original Catholic military orders of the Crusades, paired with medieval concepts of ideals of chivalry.

Dame is an honorific title and the feminine form of address for the honour of damehood in many Christian chivalric orders, as well as the British honours system and those of several other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, with the masculine form of address being sir. It is the female equivalent for knighthood, which is traditionally granted to males. Dame is also style used by baronetesses in their own right.

Commander, or Knight Commander, is a title of honor prevalent in chivalric orders and fraternal orders.

Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor

The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was formed in 1908 in the United Kingdom and received royal recognition in 1912. Its patron is Queen Elizabeth II. It is a registered charity and seeks to uphold and advise on the dignity and rights of Knights Bachelor and knighthood, and to register every duly authenticated knighthood.

Order of Saint Stanislaus (House of Romanov)

The Order of Saint Stanislaus, also spelled Stanislas or Stanislav, is a Russian dynastic order of knighthood founded as Order of the Knights of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr in 1765 by King Stanisław II Augustus of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1831 after the downfall of the November Uprising, the order was incorporated into the Chapter of Russian Orders as part of the honours system of the Russian Empire by Emperor Nicholas I of Russia.

Order of Saint Joachim

The Order of Saint Joachim is an order of chivalry founded in 1755 to promote religious tolerance in Europe, and continues to exist today. Admiral Horatio Nelson accepted the Grand Cross of the Order in 1802.

Collar (order)

A collar is an ornate chain, often made of gold and enamel, and set with precious stones, which is worn about the neck as a symbol of membership in various chivalric orders. It is a particular form of the livery collar, the grandest form of the widespread phenomenon of livery in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. Orders which have several grades often reserve the collar for the highest grade. The links of the chain are usually composed of symbols of the order, and the badge of the order normally hangs down in front. Sometimes the badge is referred to by what is depicted on it; for instance, the badge that hangs from the chain of the Order of the Garter is referred to as "the George".

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