In the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories, personal bravery, achievement, or service are rewarded with honours.

The honours system recognises people who have made achievements in public life and committed themselves to serving and helping Britain.

The aim is to ensure that the large numbers of people not in the public eye who give valuable service are recognised. They could be charity volunteers, members of the emergency services or Armed Forces, industrial pioneers or specialists in various professions.

They will usually have made life better for other people or be outstanding at what they do.

Anybody in the UK can nominate a British national to receive an honour but the person must still be actively involved in what you’re nominating them for.

Honours nominations are not handled by Buckingham Palace but by the Honours and Appointments Secretariat, part of the Cabinet Office and are bestowed by H.M. The Queen normally twice a year in the form of:

  • The New Year Honours List          
  • The King's Birthday Honours List            

The honours system consists of three types of award:

  • Honours are used to recognise merit in terms of achievement and service;
  • Decorations tend to be used to recognise specific deeds;
  • Medals are used to recognise service on a particular operation or in a specific theatre, long or valuable service, and good conduct.

For an overview of the honours system, types of honour and details of how to nominate somebody for an honour, go to the GOV.UK website.

Information on Bravery Awards for members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and MOD is available at this link.

Details of the latest Honours List can be found at this link.

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