Knight Bachelor

The dignity of Knight Bachelor is the basic and lowest rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised orders of chivalry; it is a part of the British honours system.[1] Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight (the rank existed during the 13th-century reign of King Henry III), but Knights Bachelor rank below knights of chivalric orders.

There is no female counterpart to Knight Bachelor. The lowest knightly honour that can be conferred upon a woman is Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE), which is one rank higher than Knight Bachelor (being the female equivalent of KBE or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which is the next male knightly rank above Knight Bachelor). Also, foreigners are not created Knights Bachelor; instead they are generally made honorary KBEs.[2]

Criteria

Knighthood is usually conferred for public service; amongst its recipients are all male judges of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice in England. It is possible to be a Knight Bachelor and a junior member of an order of chivalry without being a knight of that order; this situation has become rather common, especially among those recognised for achievements in entertainment. For instance, Sir Ian Holm, Sir Michael Gambon, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Elton John, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Barry Gibb and Sir Ian McKellen are Commanders of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBEs); Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Van Morrison are Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBEs) (as were Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Alan Bates, Sir Robert Helpmann, Sir Nigel Hawthorne, Sir John Mills, Sir John Hurt, Sir Christopher Lee, Sir Peter Ustinov, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Richard Attenborough, Sir Michael Hordern and Sir Michael Redgrave during their lives); while Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) are Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). None of them would be entitled to use the honorific "Sir" by virtue of their membership of the order alone, but as they are all also Knights Bachelor, they are entitled to preface their names with that title.

Honorifics and post-nominal letters

Knights Bachelor may prefix "Sir" to their forenames and wives of Knights may prefix "Lady" to their surnames.[1][3][4] Since recipients are not knights of an order of chivalry there are no post-nominal letters associated with the honour,[5] however when the style "Sir" is awkward or incomplete due to a subsequent appointment, recipients may use the letters "Kt" after their name (note the lowercase "t" which distinguishes it from "KT"). This style is often adopted by Knights Bachelor who are also peers, baronets, or knights of the various chivalric orders.[3] In legal and official documents "Knight" should be added after the name instead of "Kt".[4]

Insignia

Knights Bachelor Insignia
The insignia of a knight bachelor devised in 1926

Until 1926 Knights Bachelor had no insignia which they could wear, but in that year King George V issued a warrant authorising the wearing of a badge on all appropriate occasions by Knights Bachelor; this badge is worn on the left side of the coat or outer garment. Measuring 2 38 inches (60 mm) in length and 1 38 inches (35 mm) in width, it is described in heraldic terms as follows:[6]

Upon an oval medallion of vermilion, enclosed by a scroll a cross-hilted sword belted and sheathed, pommel upwards, between two spurs, rowels upwards, the whole set about with the sword belt, all gilt.

In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II issued a further warrant authorising the wearing on appropriate occasions of a neck badge, slightly smaller in size, and in miniature. In 1988 a new certificate of authentication, a knight's only personal documentation, was designed by the College of Arms.[6]

Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor

The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was founded for the maintenance and consolidation of the Dignity of Knights Bachelor in 1908, and obtained official recognition from the Sovereign in 1912. The Society keeps records of all Knights Bachelor, in their interest.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b "The British Honours System". www.churchill-society-london.org.uk. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor". www.iskb.co.uk. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Form of address". Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Knight Bachelor". Forms of address. Debrett's. Archived from the original on 5 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Orders of Chivalry". British Government. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  6. ^ a b Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage 2019. https://www.debretts.com/product/debretts-peerage/: Debrett's. 2019. ISBN 9781999767006.

References

External links

1831 Coronation Honours

The 1831 Coronation Honours were appointments by King William IV to various orders and honours on the occasion of his coronation on 8 September 1831. The honours were published in The London Gazette on 16 September and 27 September 1831.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Commander, etc.) and then divisions as appropriate.

1878 Birthday Honours

The 1878 Birthday Honours were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of the British Empire. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of the Queen, and were published in The London Gazette in May 1878.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

1883 Birthday Honours

The 1883 Birthday Honours were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of the British Empire. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of the Queen, and were published in The London Gazette on 24 May 1883.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

1885 Birthday Honours

The Queen's Birthday Honours 1885 are the birthday honours announced in 1885 in celebration of the birthday of Queen Victoria.

1885 Dissolution Honours

The 1885 Dissolution Honours List was issued in June 1885 prior to the general election of that year.The recipients of honours are displayed as they were styled before their new honour.

1890 New Year Honours

The New Year Honours 1890 were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and British India.

They were announced in The Times on 1 January 1890, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 1 January 1890 and on 7 January 1890.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).

1891 New Year Honours

The New Year Honours 1891 were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by people of the United Kingdom, British India and in the British Empire.

They were announced in The Times on 1 January 1891, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 1 January 1891, 7 January 1891, and 13 January 1891.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).

1892 Dissolution Honours

The 1892 Dissolution Honours List was issued in August 1892 following the general election of that year.The recipients of honours are displayed as they were styled before their new honour.

1892 New Year Honours

The New Year Honours 1892 were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and British India.

They were announced in The Times on 1 January 1892, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 1 January 1892.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).

1893 New Year Honours

The New Year Honours 1893 were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by members of the British Empire. They were published on 2 January 1893.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

1895 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours

The 1895 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours were announced in the British national press on 1 July 1895 following the resignation of Lord Rosebery's government on 22 June. The appointments to the Order of the Bath appeared officially in the London Gazette of 2 July.

1923 Prime Minister Honours

The 1923 Prime Minister Honours were announced on 8 February 1923, the list of political appointments was recommended by the Prime Minister Bonar Law. The list was not issued as part of the 1923 New Year Honours as it was delayed to allow scrutiny by a Privy Council committee following a recommendation of a Royal Commission on Honours. It was sometimes known as the "Short Honours List".

1945 Dissolution Honours

The 1945 Dissolution Honours List was issued on 7 June to mark the dissolution of the United Kingdom parliament prior to the 1945 general election.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

1951 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours

The 1951 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours were officially announced in a supplement to the London Gazette of 27 November 1951, published on 30 November 1951, to mark the resignation of the Prime Minister, Clement Attlee.

1975 Special Honours (New Zealand)

The 1975 Special Honours in New Zealand was a Special Honours List, published on 18 April 1975, in which New Zealand's outgoing high commissioner to the United Kingdom received a knighthood.

1979 Dissolution Honours

The 1979 Dissolution Honours List was issued in June 1979 following the general election of that year.The recipients of honours are displayed as they were styled before their new honour.

1982 Birthday Honours

Queen's Birthday Honours are announced on or around the date of the Queen's Official Birthday in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The dates vary, both from year to year and from country to country. All are published in supplements to the London Gazette and many are conferred by the monarch (or her representative) some time after the date of the announcement, particularly for those service people on active duty.

The 1982 Queen's Birthday Honours list for the United Kingdom was issued on 11 June 1982 and the lists for Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji were issued on 12 June 1982.

1983 Dissolution Honours

The 1983 Dissolution Honours List was gazetted on 21 July 1983 following the advice of the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.The recipients are shown below as they were styled before their new honour.

Ceylonese recipients of British titles

Ceylonese recipients of British titles conferred on the advice of Her Majesty's Ceylon Ministers. This list includes all those who were born in, worked in or lived in Ceylon.

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