Our honours system gives public recognition to people in all walks of life and all sections of society who have given quite exceptional service and made a difference in their community or for the country. It has evolved over 650 years and recognises merit, gallantry and service. There are several different types of award, each one recognising a different type of contribution.Honours lists are published twice a year at New Year and in mid-June on the date of Her Majesty The Queen’s official birthday.
Anyone can receive an award if they reach the required standard of merit or service, and rightly, honours lists contain a wide variety of people from different backgrounds. Equally anyone can nominate someone for an award, but it is important to note that longevity in a position is not sufficient in itself and that honours are not usually awarded after someone has retired.
It is important to remember to include all good works performed by the nominee, not just the foremost reason. It is essential to source and submit several strong letters of recommendation from people who know at first-hand about the work which has caused the nomination to be made.
Please note : many people continue to assume that honours are awarded at the direction of Lord-Lieutenants in each county. This is not so. For the avoidance of doubt: honours go to people who have been nominated not by the Lieutenancy, as an official body, but by members of the public.
The Lord-Lieutenant is unable to act as a referee.
A nomination will take about 18 months to pass through the vetting process, from the point it is submitted to the Cabinet Office. The nomination should be kept strictly confidential to avoid disappointment should an application be unsuccessful. A finite number of awards are available for each honours list, and therefore nominations are measured against submissions from across the nation.