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National Honours

The British honours system is one of the oldest in the world, having evolved over 650 years.  It recognises outstanding contributions and service made by people throughout the country, from every section of the community and in many different activities.  Two honours lists are published each year, at the New Year and to mark the King's official birthday in June.  Most honours are made in the Order of the British Empire.


Recipients of honours usually receive their honour from a member of

the Royal Family at Investitures held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.  Recipients of the British Empire Medal (awarded for exceptional work within a local community) are invested with their medal by the Lord-Lieutenant at a local ceremony.


Examples of what people receive honours for include:


  • Making a significant difference to their local community or field of work

  • Long-term voluntary service

  • Improving life for people less able to help themselves

  • Innovation and entrepreneurship

  • Changing things, with an emphasis on achievement

  • Displaying moral courage and doing difficult things

  • Enhancing Britain’s reputation

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Anyone can nominate an individual to receive an honour.  If you wish to nominate someone, please click here to visit the Honours section of the Government website.  You will find an online nomination form along with guidance notes about how to compile the nomination. Along with the nomination you should also submit a number of independent letters of recommendation from individuals who know the nominee and his or her work.

All honours nominations are confidential and it is particularly important that the nominee is not aware that they are being put forward.


When you have submitted the nomination you will receive an acknowledgment from the Honours Secretariat, who will then put the nomination forward for consideration by the appropriate Government honours committee.  Not all nominations are successful and it generally takes between 18 months to 2 years for a nomination to work through the assessment process.


The Lieutenancy Office is always very happy to advise you in compiling an honours nomination.  Please contact the Lieutenancy Officer for further information.

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