Honours

How can I nominate someone for an honour in Bedfordshire?

The honours system recognises people of outstanding merit, and those who have committed themselves to service to the nation. It's been around for centuries, but it was a closed system for many years. Only since 1993 has everybody been free to nominate.

You can submit a nomination at any time through the GOV.UK (link opens in new window) website. Receipt of your nomination will be acknowledged, but it is not possible to provide further information, or progress reports, on your nomination. Information can also be obtained through the Lord Lieutenant's office.

Find out more about the honours process and how you can nominate someone for an award on GOV.UK: The Honours system. (link opens in new window)

The Queen confers awards on the advice of the Prime Minister. The honours lists are published twice a year, at New Year and in mid-June on the date of The Queen's official birthday. There are a limited number of awards available, so only those who have given exceptional service are likely to succeed.

Lists of honours are published in the national press and on the GOV.UK (link opens in new window) website.

The Order of the British Empire (OBE) – this well known Order has both Civil and Military Divisions. The civilian list is drawn up by the Prime Minister and the Military list by the Secretary of State for Defence, and the names of members of the Commonwealth are proposed by the appropriate Minister of State.

The British Empire Medal (BEM) - was reintroduced in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours in 2012 associated with the Order, but since March 1993 no further recommendations have been made for the award of the Medal. The classes of the Order are Knights or Dames Grand Cross (GBE), Knights or Dames Commanders (KBE or DBE), Commanders (CBE), Officers (OBE), and Members (MBE).

Nomination Procedure

Did you know that you can nominate anyone for an honour?

There are so many unsung heroes who deserve to be honoured - but they need someone to nominate them!

Any person may make a nomination for a UK National Honour. A nomination form is available, and a copy can be obtained from the Cabinet Office or GOV.UK (link opens in new window).

There are no deadlines for the receipt of nomination forms, but their consideration is likely to take at least 12 to 18 months. It is normal for awards to be made to people who are still active to which the nomination relates. Nomination should therefore be made while the nominee is still active.

Honours lists are published at New Year and on the occasion of The Sovereign’s birthday. Nominators will need to check the published lists in national newspapers to see if their nominee is successful, as no separate notification is sent.

If after two years, a nominee has not been successful it may be assumed that the nomination has lapsed. A re-nomination may be made, but a different outcome is unlikely unless the nominee has had additional achievements.

All nominations for honours are treated in the strictest confidence. The nominee should not be informed that they have been nominated, as it is not fair to raise expectations in case they are not met.

"The object of giving medals, stars and ribbons is to give pride and pleasure to those who have deserved them. At the same time a distinction is something which everybody does not possess. If all have it, it is of less value. There must, therefore, be heartburnings and disappointments on the borderline. A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow. The task of drawing up regulations for such awards is one which does not admit of a perfect solution. It is not possible to satisfy everybody without running the risk of satisfying nobody. All that is possible is to give the greatest satisfaction to the greatest number and to hurt the feelings of the fewest."

Winston Churchill

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