The Berkshire Lieutenancy

National honours

The honours system offers 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 in the country. There are several different types of award, each one recognising a different type of contribution.

The British honours system is one of the oldest in the world. It has evolved over 650 years and today recognises merit, gallantry and service. Honours lists are published twice a year at New Year and on the date of The King’s official birthday.

Anyone can receive an award if they reach the required standard of merit or service, and honours lists include a variety of people from diverse backgrounds.

How to nominate an individual for an honour

Any member of the public may nominate someone for an honour.

There are many people across our county who work tirelessly in the community and who deserve to be recognised. The Lord-Lieutenant would like to encourage members of the public to put forward suitable nominations.

To support a nomination, it is essential to source and submit several strong letters of recommendation, from people who know at first hand about the work that has been done by the individual being nominated.

You can find further information, helpful guidance notes and a nomination form on the Government honours website. 

It is important to recognise that a nomination can take around 18 months or longer to go through the vetting process, from the point it is submitted to the Cabinet Office. The fact of nomination should be kept strictly confidential as sadly a relatively few people can be honoured and it is best to avoid disappointment. If a nomination proves unsuccessful, it is sometimes possible for the Lord-Lieutenant to arrange some other form of recognition, as a ‘thank you’ for exceptional service.

Recipients of all honours except the British Empire Medal (BEM) are invited to Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle to receive their award. The Lord-Lieutenant presents the BEM honours on behalf of The King.