King Charles III’s Honours List: How to nominate someone for an honour & types of honours and awards

King Charles III recognised a number of people in his special honours list earlier this week- here’s how you can nominate someone for an award in the future?
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King Charles III has announced his special Demise Honours List for 2023. In the list, the monarch recognised the pallbearers who carried Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at her state funeral September 2022.

The eight servicemen were recognised in the list by King Charles III alongside a number of royal aides and military personnel for the roles they played during the period of national mourning. The eight Grenadier Guards named in the list are Lance Sergeant Alex Turner, Lance Corporal Tony Flynn, Lance Sergeant Elias Orlowski, Guardsman Fletcher Cox, Guardsman James Patterson, Lance Sergeant Ryan Griffiths, Guardsman Luke Simpson, and Guardsman David Sanderson.

The pallbearers, from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, have been recognised with the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver). The Royal Regiment of Scotland pallbearers who brought the Queen from Balmoral to her lying-in-state at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh received the same honour.

Also included in the Demise Honours list were the Royal Air Force flight crew who transported the Queen’s coffin from Scotland to London, other coffin bearers, and senior government officials.

But can you nominate someone for an honour and what special awards are up for grabs? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the honours system?

The honours system recognises  people who have made achievements in public life and/or committed themselves to serve and help Britain.

The government website states individuals will be outstanding at what they do and involved in what they’re being nominated for.The only honours which can be awarded after someone’s death are gallantry awards.

The honours committee decides whether nominated individuals get an honour and which one they will receive.The committee’s recommendations go to the Prime Minister and then to the King, who awards the honour.

Typically, there are two honour lists a year - the monarch’s New Year Honours and Birthday Honours. However, King Charles announced a Demise Honours List this year following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

What can you get an honour for?

King Charles III gives recipients their honour or award in a special ceremonyKing Charles III gives recipients their honour or award in a special ceremony
King Charles III gives recipients their honour or award in a special ceremony
  • Individuals can get honours for achievements like:
  • Making a difference to their field of work or community
  • Enhancing Britain’s reputation
  • Long-term voluntary service
  • Displaying moral courage
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Changing things, with an emphasis on achievement
  • Improving life for people less able to help themselves

Honours are given to people involved in fields including:

  • Arts and media
  • Business and the economy
  • Community, voluntary and local services
  • Civil or political service
  • Education
  • Health
  • Science and technology
  • Sport

Types of honours and awards

  • Companion of Honour
  • Knight or Dame
  • Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
  • British Empire Medal (BEM)
  • Royal Victorian Order (RVO)

There are also awards for bravery, called gallantry awards.

How to nominate someone for an honour

Anyone can nominate an individual for an honour but how you apply depends on whether you want to nominate someone in the UK or overseas, or for a gallantry award.

UK nominees

In order to nominate someone in the UK, you will need:

  • Your nominee’s name, age, address and contact details
  • Details of relevant work or volunteering they’ve done
  • Details of any awards or other recognition they’ve received
  • Two supporting letters to back up your nomination - these should be from people who know the nominee personally

You can include any evidence you have of any recognition your nominee has received for their achievements, for example articles, photos or letters. You can nominate an individual via the government’s website.

Overseas nominees

You can nominate someone for an honour if they live overseas or live in the UK.  Individuals who are not British or a national of a country where the King is Head of State will be given an ‘honorary award’.

To nominate someone overseas, you can download and fill in the nomination form and send it to the Royal, Ceremonial and Honours Unit, part of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Gallantry nominees

Civilian gallantry awards recognise the bravery of those who have put themselves in danger to save (or attempt to save) someone’s life. Recommendations are judged on degree of risk, persistence and how aware the nominee was of the danger.

To nominate someone for a gallantry award, email the Honours and Appointments Secretariat. You will need to explain in the email why you’re recommending them and include their name, date of birth and address.

For more information, visit the government’s website.

What happens after you nominate someone for an honour?

After you have nominated an individual for an award, you will receive an acknowledgement. However, you may not hear anything else for 12 to 18 months.

All applications will be checked to make sure the individual is suitable for an honour.

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