|Order of the Companions of Honour|
Riband and badge of the "Companions of Honour"
|Awarded by the sovereign of the Commonwealth realms|
|Established||4 June 1917|
|Motto||In Action Faithful and in Honour Clear|
|Awarded for||Nationally important service|
|Sovereign||Queen Elizabeth II|
Ribbon bar of the order
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded on 4 June 1917 by King George V as a reward for outstanding achievements and is "conferred upon a limited number of persons for whom this special distinction seems to be the most appropriate form of recognition, constituting an honour disassociated either from the acceptance of title or the classification of merit."
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent co-equal kingdom from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom. All 16 Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states. Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth.
Founded on the same date as the Order of the British Empire,it is sometimes regarded as the junior order to the Order of Merit. Now described as "awarded for having a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time", the first recipients were all decorated for "services in connection with the war" and were listed in The London Gazette . The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court is now the Chapel of the Order.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
The Order of Merit is an order of merit recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Established in 1902 by King Edward VII, admission into the order remains the personal gift of its Sovereign—currently Edward VII's great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II—and is restricted to a maximum of 24 living recipients from the Commonwealth realms, plus a limited number of honorary members. While all members are awarded the right to use the post-nominal letters OM and wear the badge of the order, the Order of Merit's precedence among other honours differs between countries.
The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record of the British government, and the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK, having been first published on 7 November 1665 as The Oxford Gazette. This claim is also made by the Stamford Mercury (1712) and Berrow's Worcester Journal (1690), because The Gazette is not a conventional newspaper offering general news coverage. It does not have a large circulation.
The order consists of the Sovereign and a maximum 65 members. Additionally, foreigners or Commonwealth citizens from outside the realms may be added as honorary members. Membership confers no title or precedence, but those inducted into the single-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters CH. Appointments can be made on the advice of Commonwealth realm prime ministers.For Canadians, the advice to the Sovereign can come from a variety of officials.
Order of precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of persons. Most often it is used in the context of people by many organizations and governments, for very formal and state occasions, especially where diplomats are present. It can also be used in the context of decorations, medals and awards. Historically, the order of precedence had a more widespread use, especially in court and aristocratic life.
Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles or designatory letters, are letters placed after a person's name to indicate that the individual holds a position, academic degree, accreditation, office, military decoration, or honour, or is a member of a religious institute or fraternity. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters, but in some contexts it may be customary to limit the number of sets to one or just a few. The order in which post-nominals are listed after a name is based on rules of precedence and what is appropriate for a given situation. Post-nominal letters are one of the main types of name suffix. In contrast, pre-nominal letters precede the name rather than following it.
Originally, the order was limited to 50 ordinary members, but in 1943 it was enlarged to 65, with a quota of 45 members for the United Kingdom, seven for Australia, two each for New Zealand and South Africa, and nine for India, Burma, and the other British colonies. The quota numbers were altered in 1970 to 47 for the United Kingdom, seven for Australia, two for New Zealand, and nine for other Commonwealth realms. The quota was adjusted again in 1975 by adding two places to the New Zealand quota and reducing the nine for the other countries to seven.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. It has a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
While still able to nominate candidates to the Order, Australia has effectively stopped the allocation of this award to its citizens in preference to its national awards. Margaret MacMillan, a Canadian historian, was given the award in 2017. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, a New Zealand soprano, was given the award in 2018. Margaret Atwood, a Canadian author, was appointed in 2019.
Margaret Olwen MacMillan is a Canadian historian and professor at the University of Oxford. She is former provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto and previously at Ryerson University. A leading expert on history and international relations, MacMillan is a commentator in the media.
Dame Kiri Jeanette Claire Te Kanawa is a New Zealand soprano. She has a full lyric soprano voice, which has been described as "mellow yet vibrant, warm, ample and unforced".
Margaret Eleanor Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Since 1961, she has published seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, ten books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children's books, and one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction. Atwood and her writing have won numerous awards and honors including the Man Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General's Award, Franz Kafka Prize, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards.
The insignia of the order is in the form of an oval medallion, surmounted by an imperial crown, and with a rectangular panel within, depicting on it an oak tree, a shield with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom hanging from one branch, and, on the left, a mounted knight in armour. The insignia's blue border bears in gold letters the motto IN ACTION FAITHFUL AND IN HONOUR CLEAR, Alexander Pope's description (in iambic pentameter) in his Epistle to Mr Addison of James Craggs, later used on Craggs' monument in Westminster Abbey. Men wear the badge on a neck ribbon (red with golden border threads) and women on a bow at the left shoulder.
A crown is a traditional symbolic form of headwear, not hat, worn by a monarch or by a deity, for whom the crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, victory, triumph, honor, and glory, as well as immortality, righteousness, and resurrection. In art, the crown may be shown being offered to those on Earth by angels. Apart from the traditional form, crowns also may be in the form of a wreath and be made of flowers, oak leaves, or thorns and be worn by others, representing what the coronation part aims to symbolize with the specific crown. In religious art, a crown of stars is used similarly to a halo. Crowns worn by rulers often contain jewels.
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.
Alexander Pope is regarded as one of the greatest English poets and the foremost poet the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry—to include The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism—as well as for his translation of Homer. After Shakespeare, Pope is the second most quoted writer in the English language, as per The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, with some of his verses having even become popular idioms in common parlance. He is considered a master of the heroic couplet.
|Member number||Name||Post-nominals||Known for||Date of appointment||Age|
|01 (237)||GCL, GCMG, CH, PC||Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea||3 June 1978||83|
|02 (246)||AC , CH , PC||Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia||31 December 1981||89|
|03 (267)||CH , PC||Politician||31 July 1987||88|
|04 (270)||CH , PC||Politician||13 April 1992||84|
|05 (271)||CH , PC||Politician||13 April 1992||85|
|06 (278)||CH , PC||Politician||13 April 1992||86|
|07 (282)||CH , DBE||Opera singer||31 December 1993||86|
|08 (287)||CH , PC||Politician||11 June 1994||81|
|09 (289)||OM , CH , CVO , CBE||Broadcaster and naturalist||30 December 1995||93|
|10 (291)||CH , CBE , PC||Politician||30 December 1995||89|
|11 (294)||OM , CH||Artist||14 June 1997||82|
|12 (296)||CH , PC||Politician||2 August 1997||86|
|13 (297)||CH , PC||Politician and former Governor of Hong Kong||31 December 1997||75|
|14 (298)||CH , CBE||Theatre director||13 June 1998||94|
|15 (299)||KG , CH , PC||Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom||31 December 1998||76|
|16 (300)||CH , CBE||Artist||31 December 1998||88|
|17 (305)||CC , CMM , CD , CH||Canadian general and diplomat||31 December 1998||82|
|18 (311)||CH||Composer||30 December 2000||85|
|19 (312)||OM , CH , CBE , MC , FBA||Historian||15 June 2002||96|
|20 (316)||CH , CBE , FRS||Scientist and environmentalist||31 December 2002||100|
|21 (317)||CH , FRS||Geophysicist||14 June 2003||77|
|22 (318)||GCMG , CH||Diplomat||14 June 2003||73|
|23 (320)||CH , DBE||Actress||11 June 2005||84|
|24 (321)||CH , CBE||Actor||31 December 2007||80|
|25 (322)||CH , FRIBA , FREng , RA||Architect||14 June 2008||86|
|26 (323)||CH , QC , PC||Politician||11 June 2011||78|
|27 (324)||Bt , CH , PC||Politician||20 September 2012||78|
|28 (325)||CH , KBE||Athlete, politician, organiser of 2012 Olympics||29 December 2012||62|
|29 (326)||CH , FRS||Physicist||29 December 2012||90|
|30 (327)||CH , PC||Politician||7 January 2013||59|
|31 (328)||CH , CBE , PC , QC||Politician||15 June 2013||78|
|32 (329)||CH||Curator||15 June 2013||73|
|33 (331)||CH , CBE , FBA , FRS , FMedSci||Philosopher||31 December 2013||78|
|34 (332)||CH , DBE||Actress||14 June 2014||84|
|35 (333)||CH , QC , PC , MP||Politician||22 July 2014||79|
|36 (336)||LG , CH , DBE||Athlete||1 January 2015||80|
|37 (337)||CH , PC , DL||Politician||1 January 2015||87|
|38 (339)||CH , PC , FBA , FMedSci||Judge||12 June 2015||86|
|39 (341)||CH , FRSL||Art historian, museum director||1 January 2016||84|
|40 (342)||CH , DBE||Singer||11 June 2016||102|
|41 (343)||KT , CH||Businessman||11 June 2016||75|
|42 (344)||CH , PC||Politician and diplomat||11 June 2016||65|
|43 (345)||CH , PC||Politician and Former Chancellor of the Exchequer||4 August 2016||48|
|44 (347)||CH , CBE||Director||31 December 2016||76|
|45 (348)||CH , DBE||Percussionist||31 December 2016||54|
|46 (349)||CH , FRS||Geneticist||31 December 2016||69|
|47 (351)||CH , PC||Politician||31 December 2016||89|
|48 (352)||CH||Designer||17 June 2017||87|
|49 (353)||CH , CBE||Conductor||17 June 2017||72|
|50 (354)||CH , DBE||Dancer||17 June 2017||92|
|51 (355)||CH , MBE||Musician||17 June 2017||77|
|52 (356)||CH , OBE||Author||17 June 2017||54|
|53 (357)||CH , DBE , FREng||Entrepreneur and philanthropist||17 June 2017||85|
|54 (358)||CH , CBE||Cook and writer||17 June 2017||78|
|55 (359)||Kt, CH , FRS , FBA||Economist||17 June 2017||73|
|56 (361)||CH , FRS , FBA , FRSL||Broadcaster||30 December 2017||79|
|57 (362)||CH , DBE , FRSL||Author||30 December 2017||87|
|58 (363)||CC , CH||Historian||30 December 2017||75|
|59 (364)||CH , FRS , FMedSci||Biologist||9 June 2018||74|
|60 (365)||ONZ , CH , DBE , AC||Soprano||9 June 2018||75|
|61 (366)||CC , OOnt , CH , FRSC , FRSL||Author||29 December 2018||79|
|62 (367)||CH , PC , MP||Politician||10 September 2019||61|
|Member number||Name||Post-nominals||Known for||Date of appointment||Age|
|1 (261)||CH , FBA||Economist||11 May 2000||85|
|2 (304)||CH , KBE||Conductor||12 June 2002||90|
|3 (340)||CH||Social rights activist and clergyman||30 November 2015||87|
The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals' personal bravery, achievement, or service to the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories. The system consists of three types of award – honours, decorations and medals:
The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, to recognise Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service. Before the establishment of the order, Australian citizens received British honours.
This article concerns the orders and decorations of the Commonwealth realms awarded by the sovereign in right of each nation.
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.
The New Zealand Royal Honours system, a system of orders, decorations and medals, recognises achievements of, or service by, New Zealanders or others in connection with New Zealand. Until 1975 New Zealand used the British honours system. Since then the country has introduced a number of uniquely New Zealand honours, and as of 2018 only the dynastic British honours continue in active use in New Zealand, with the exception of the Order of the Companions of Honour.
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.
The New Zealand Order of Merit is an order of merit in New Zealand's honours system. It was established by royal warrant on 30 May 1996 by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, "for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits", to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity.
The Australian honours system consists of a number of orders, decorations, and medals through which the country's sovereign awards its citizens for actions or deeds that benefit the nation. Established in 1975 with the creation of the Order of Australia, the system's scope has grown since then and over time has replaced the Imperial/British honours system that previously applied to Australians. The system includes an array of awards, both civil and military, for gallantry, bravery, distinguished service, meritorious service, and long service. Various campaign and commemorative medals have also been struck. New honours can be awarded at any time, but conventionally most new honours are awarded on Australia Day and on the Queen's Birthday every year, when lists of new honours are published.
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the monarch's family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the sovereign of the order, the order's motto is Victoria, and its official day is 20 June. The order's chapel is the Savoy Chapel in London.
An order is a visible honour awarded by a sovereign state, monarch, dynastic royal house or organisation to a person, typically in recognition of individual merit, that often comes with distinctive insignia such as collars, medals, badges, and sashes worn by recipients.
The Queen's Service Order, established by royal warrant of Queen Elizabeth II on 13 March 1975, is used to recognise "valuable voluntary service to the community or meritorious and faithful services to the Crown or similar services within the public sector, whether in elected or appointed office". This order was created after a review of New Zealand's honours system in 1974. The Queen's Service Order replaced the Imperial Service Order in New Zealand.
The Royal Victorian Chain is a decoration instituted in 1902 by King Edward VII as a personal award of the monarch. It ranks above the Royal Victorian Order, with which it is often associated but not officially related. Originally reserved for members of the Royal Family, the chain is a distinct award conferred only upon the highest dignitaries, including foreign monarchs, heads of state, and high-ranking individuals such as the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The orders, decorations, and medals of Canada comprise a complex system by which Canadians are honoured by the country's sovereign for actions or deeds that benefit their community or the country at large. Modelled on its British predecessor, the structure originated in the 1930s, but began to come to full fruition at the time of Canada's centennial in 1967, with the establishment of the Order of Canada, and has since grown in both size and scope to include dynastic and national orders, state, civil, and military decorations; and various campaign medals. The monarch in right of each Canadian province also issues distinct orders and medals to honour residents for work performed in just their province. The provincial honours, as with some of their national counterparts, grant the use of post-nominal letters and or supporters and other devices to be used on personal coats of arms.
The Canadian titles debate has been ongoing since the presentation to the House of Commons of Canada of the Nickle Resolution in 1917. This resolution marked the earliest attempt to establish a Government of Canada policy requesting the sovereign not to grant knighthoods, baronetcies, and peerages to Canadians and set the precedent for later policies restricting Canadians from accepting titles from foreign countries. Dissatisfaction with the British honours system led to the gradual creation of a separate system for Canada.
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