The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded on 4 June 1917 by King George V as a reward for outstanding achievements and is "conferred upon a limited number of persons for whom this special distinction seems to be the most appropriate form of recognition, constituting an honour disassociated either from the acceptance of title or the classification of merit."
Founded on the same date as the Order of the British Empire, it is sometimes regarded as the junior order to the Order of Merit. Now described as "awarded for having a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time", the first recipients were all decorated for "services in connection with the war" and were listed in The London Gazette. The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court is now the Chapel of the Order.
|Order of the Companions of Honour|
Riband and badge of the "Companions of Honour"
|Awarded by the sovereign of the Commonwealth realms|
|Established||4 June 1917|
|Motto||In Action Faithful and in Honour Clear|
|Awarded for||Nationally important service|
|Sovereign||Queen Elizabeth II|
Ribbon bar of the order
The order consists of the Sovereign and a maximum 65 members. Additionally, foreigners or Commonwealth citizens from outside the realms may be added as honorary members. Membership confers no title or precedence, but those inducted into the single-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters CH. Appointments can be made on the advice of Commonwealth realm prime ministers. For Canadians, the advice to the Sovereign can come from a variety of officials.
Originally, the order was limited to 50 ordinary members, but in 1943 it was enlarged to 65, with a quota of 45 members for the United Kingdom, seven for Australia, two each for New Zealand and South Africa, and nine for India, Burma, and the other British colonies. The quota numbers were altered in 1970 to 47 for the United Kingdom, seven for Australia, two for New Zealand, and nine for other Commonwealth realms. The quota was adjusted again in 1975 by adding two places to the New Zealand quota and reducing the nine for the other countries to seven.
While still able to nominate candidates to the Order, Australia has effectively stopped the allocation of this award to its citizens in preference to its national awards. Margaret MacMillan, a Canadian historian, was given the award in 2017. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, a New Zealand soprano, was given the award in 2018. Margaret Atwood, a Canadian author, was appointed in 2019.
The insignia of the order is in the form of an oval medallion, surmounted by an imperial crown, and with a rectangular panel within, depicting on it an oak tree, a shield with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom hanging from one branch, and, on the left, a mounted knight in armour. The insignia's blue border bears in gold letters the motto IN ACTION FAITHFUL AND IN HONOUR CLEAR, Alexander Pope's description (in iambic pentameter) in his Epistle to Mr Addison of James Craggs, later used on Craggs' monument in Westminster Abbey. Men wear the badge on a neck ribbon (red with golden border threads) and women on a bow at the left shoulder.
|Member number[n 1]||Name||Post-nominals||Known for||Date of appointment||Age|
|01 (237)||Sir Michael Somare||GCL, GCMG, CH, PC||Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea||3 June 1978||83|
|02 (246)||Doug Anthony||AC, CH, PC||Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia||31 December 1981||89|
|03 (267)||The Lord Tebbit||CH, PC||Politician||31 July 1987||88|
|04 (270)||The Lord Baker of Dorking||CH, PC||Politician||13 April 1992||84|
|05 (271)||The Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville||CH, PC||Politician||13 April 1992||85|
|06 (278)||The Lord King of Bridgwater||CH, PC||Politician||13 April 1992||86|
|07 (282)||Dame Janet Baker||CH, DBE||Opera singer||31 December 1993||85|
|08 (287)||The Lord Owen||CH, PC||Politician||11 June 1994||81|
|09 (289)||Sir David Attenborough||OM, CH, CVO, CBE||Broadcaster and naturalist||30 December 1995||93|
|10 (291)||The Lord Hurd of Westwell||CH, CBE, PC||Politician||30 December 1995||89|
|11 (294)||David Hockney||OM, CH||Artist||14 June 1997||82|
|12 (296)||The Lord Heseltine||CH, PC||Politician||2 August 1997||86|
|13 (297)||The Lord Patten of Barnes||CH, PC||Politician and former Governor of Hong Kong||31 December 1997||75|
|14 (298)||Peter Brook||CH, CBE||Theatre director||13 June 1998||94|
|15 (299)||Sir John Major||KG, CH, PC||Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom||31 December 1998||76|
|16 (300)||Bridget Riley||CH, CBE||Artist||31 December 1998||88|
|17 (305)||John de Chastelain||CC, CMM, CD, CH||Canadian general and diplomat||31 December 1998||82|
|18 (311)||Sir Harrison Birtwistle||CH||Composer||30 December 2000||85|
|19 (312)||Sir Michael Howard||OM, CH, CBE, MC, FBA||Historian||15 June 2002||96|
|20 (316)||James Lovelock||CH, CBE, FRS||Scientist and environmentalist||31 December 2002||100|
|21 (317)||Dan McKenzie||CH, FRS||Geophysicist||14 June 2003||77|
|22 (318)||The Lord Hannay of Chiswick||GCMG, CH||Diplomat||14 June 2003||73|
|23 (320)||Dame Judi Dench||CH, DBE||Actress||11 June 2005||84|
|24 (321)||Sir Ian McKellen||CH, CBE||Actor||31 December 2007||80|
|25 (322)||The Lord Rogers of Riverside||CH, FRIBA, FREng, RA||Architect||14 June 2008||86|
|26 (323)||The Lord Howard of Lympne||CH, QC, PC||Politician||11 June 2011||78|
|27 (324)||The Lord Young of Cookham||Bt, CH, PC||Politician||20 September 2012||78|
|28 (325)||The Lord Coe||CH, KBE||Athlete, politician, organiser of 2012 Olympics||29 December 2012||62|
|29 (326)||Peter Higgs||CH, FRS||Physicist||29 December 2012||90|
|30 (327)||The Lord Strathclyde||CH, PC||Politician||7 January 2013||59|
|31 (328)||The Lord Campbell of Pittenweem||CH, CBE, PC, QC||Politician||15 June 2013||78|
|32 (329)||Sir Nicholas Serota||CH||Curator||15 June 2013||73|
|33 (331)||The Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve||CH, CBE, FBA, FRS, FMedSci||Philosopher||31 December 2013||78|
|34 (332)||Dame Maggie Smith||CH, DBE||Actress||14 June 2014||84|
|35 (333)||Kenneth Clarke||CH, QC, PC, MP||Politician||22 July 2014||79|
|36 (336)||Lady Mary Peters||LG, CH, DBE||Athlete||1 January 2015||80|
|37 (337)||The Lord Young of Graffham||CH, PC, DL||Politician||1 January 2015||87|
|38 (339)||The Lord Woolf||CH, PC, FBA, FMedSci||Judge||12 June 2015||86|
|39 (341)||Sir Roy Strong||CH, FRSL||Art historian, museum director||1 January 2016||83|
|40 (342)||Dame Vera Lynn||CH, DBE||Singer||11 June 2016||102|
|41 (343)||The Lord Smith of Kelvin||KT, CH||Businessman||11 June 2016||75|
|42 (344)||The Baroness Amos||CH, PC||Politician and diplomat||11 June 2016||65|
|43 (345)||George Osborne||CH, PC||Politician and Former Chancellor of the Exchequer||4 August 2016||48|
|44 (347)||Sir Richard Eyre||CH, CBE||Director||31 December 2016||76|
|45 (348)||Dame Evelyn Glennie||CH, DBE||Percussionist||31 December 2016||54|
|46 (349)||Sir Alec Jeffreys||CH, FRS||Geneticist||31 December 2016||69|
|47 (351)||The Baroness Williams of Crosby||CH, PC||Politician||31 December 2016||89|
|48 (352)||Sir Terence Conran||CH||Designer||17 June 2017||87|
|49 (353)||Sir Mark Elder||CH, CBE||Conductor||17 June 2017||72|
|50 (354)||Dame Beryl Grey||CH, DBE||Dancer||17 June 2017||92|
|51 (355)||Sir Paul McCartney||CH, MBE||Musician||17 June 2017||77|
|52 (356)||J. K. Rowling||CH, OBE||Author||17 June 2017||54|
|53 (357)||Dame Stephanie Shirley||CH, DBE, FREng||Entrepreneur and philanthropist||17 June 2017||85|
|54 (358)||Delia Smith||CH, CBE||Cook and writer||17 June 2017||78|
|55 (359)||The Lord Stern of Brentford||Kt, CH, FRS, FBA||Economist||17 June 2017||73|
|56 (361)||The Lord Bragg||CH, FRS, FBA, FRSL||Broadcaster||30 December 2017||79|
|57 (362)||Lady Antonia Fraser||CH, DBE, FRSL||Author||30 December 2017||86|
|58 (363)||Margaret MacMillan||CC, CH||Historian||30 December 2017||75|
|59 (364)||Richard Henderson||CH, FRS, FMedSci||Biologist||9 June 2018||74|
|60 (365)||Dame Kiri Te Kanawa||ONZ, CH, DBE, AC||Soprano||9 June 2018||75|
|61 (366)||Margaret Atwood||CC, OOnt, CH, FRSC, FRSL||Author||29 December 2018||79|
|Member number||Name||Post-nominals||Known for||Date of appointment||Age|
|1 (261)||Amartya Sen||CH, FBA||Economist||11 May 2000||85|
|2 (304)||Bernard Haitink||CH, KBE||Conductor||12 June 2002||90|
|3 (340)||Desmond Tutu||CH||Social rights activist and clergyman||30 November 2015||87|
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.1945 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours
The 1945 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours were announced on 14 August 1945 to mark the resignation of the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, following the success of the Labour Party in the 1945 General Election.The list was particularly notable for four recommendations outside party politics which had the approval of the new Prime Minister, Clement Attlee. These were to the Chiefs of Staff of the armed services and the Ministry of Defence in World War II, honouring what The Times called "the most remarkable achievement of team work in British military history ... followed with conspicuous mastery to its consummation in the most absolute of all victories."Other nominations followed the usual convention of Prime Minister's Resignation Honours, rewarding loyal service to the Conservative Party and political and personal service to the retiring Prime Minister. Amongst these honours, The Times noted in particular the knighthood for A. P. Herbert, "who has his individual niche in the parliamentary temple as the doughty vindicator of the private member's rights, including not least the right to legislate."The list included the first awards of the newly inaugurated Defence Medal, intended to honour members of the Home Guard, Civil Defence, and troops serving in non-operational areas. However, these four awards were to people who went with Churchill into operational areas, and were noted as being in a special category.The recipients are displayed below as they were styled before their new honour.1964 Dissolution Honours
The 1964 Dissolution Honours were officially announced on 27 November 1964 and marked the dissolution of parliament following the 1964 General Election.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.2013 Special Honours
The Special Honours are issued at the Queen's pleasure at any given time. The Special Honours refer the award of the Order of the Garter, Order of the Thistle, Order of Merit, Royal Victorian Order and the Order of St John.
† indicates an award given posthumously.Arnold Smith
Arnold Cantwell Smith (January 18, 1915 – February 7, 1994) was a Canadian diplomat. He was the first Commonwealth Secretary-General, serving from 1965–1975.
A talented student, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford.
From 1958 to 1961, he was the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt. From 1961 to 1963, he was the Canadian Ambassador to the USSR. During his time at the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth flag was designed on his and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's initiative.
In 1975 he was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. In 1984, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for "a long and distinguished diplomatic career".Arnold Smith was the elder brother of Wilfred Cantwell Smith.His published work includes Stitches In Time; the Commonwealth in World Politics.Arthur Headlam
Arthur Cayley Headlam (2 August 1862 – 17 January 1947) was an English theologian who served as Bishop of Gloucester from 1923 to 1945.Charles Best (medical scientist)
Charles Herbert Best (February 27, 1899 – March 31, 1978) was an American-Canadian medical scientist and one of the co-discoverers of insulin.Ernest Hives, 1st Baron Hives
Ernest Walter Hives, 1st Baron Hives (21 April 1886 – 24 April 1965), was the one-time head of the Rolls-Royce Aero Engine division and chairman of Rolls-Royce Ltd.Hives was born in Reading, Berkshire. During the Second World War he was closely involved with the design of the Merlin engine as well as numerous later Rolls-Royce jet engines. He began his working life in a local garage. However, in 1903 he got a job working at C.S. Rolls' car company, after fixing Rolls' car.Evelyn Glennie
Dame Evelyn Elizabeth Ann Glennie, (born 19 July 1965) is a Scottish virtuoso multi-percussionist, performing internationally with a wide variety of orchestras and contemporary musicians. She was selected as one of the two laureates for the Polar Music Prize of 2015.February 1974 Dissolution Honours
The February 1974 Dissolution Honours List was issued on 2 April 1974 following the dissolution of the United Kingdom parliament in preparation for a general election.George Wardle
George James Wardle CH (15 May 1865 – 18 June 1947) was a British politician.Harry Gosling
Harry Gosling CH (9 June 1861 – 24 October 1930) was a British Labour Party politician and trade union leader.Henry Williams (bishop)
Henry Herbert Williams CH (19 December 1872 – 29 September 1961) was born into an ecclesiastical family on 19 December 1872 and educated at St Peter's School, York and The Queen's College, Oxford. He began his ministry in 1900 as a tutor and lecturer in philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford and in 1913 he became Principal of St Edmund Hall, Oxford. From 1920 to 1941 he was Bishop of Carlisle. He died on 29 September 1961.Herbert Bowden, Baron Aylestone
Herbert William Bowden, Baron Aylestone, (20 January 1905 – 30 April 1994) was a British Labour politician.
Born in Cardiff, Wales, Bowden was a councillor on Leicester City Council 1938–45 and president of Leicester Labour Party in 1938. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was elected at the 1945 general election for South Leicester, taking South-West Leicester at the 1950 election. He was appointed a whip in 1949 and a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in 1950. From 1951, he was Deputy Chief Whip, then Chief Whip through Labour's years in opposition. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1953 Coronation Honours.When Labour returned to power in 1964, Bowden was appointed Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council, having become a Privy Counsellor in 1962. In 1966 he was moved to the new post of Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, serving until 1967. On 1 September 1967 he succeeded Lord Hill as chairman of the Independent Television Authority. On 20 September 1967, he was created a life peer as Baron Aylestone, of Aylestone in the City of Leicester and . He was appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 1975 Birthday Honours. He joined the Social Democratic Party in the 1980s.
Lord Aylestone died in Worthing aged 89.Neville Marriner
Sir Neville Marriner, (15 April 1924 – 2 October 2016) was an English violinist who became "one of the world's greatest conductors". He founded the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and his partnership with them is the most recorded of any orchestra and conductor.Peter Thorneycroft
George Edward Peter Thorneycroft, Baron Thorneycroft, (26 July 1909 – 4 June 1994) was a British Conservative Party politician. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1957 and 1958.Richard Eyre
Sir Richard Charles Hastings Eyre (born 28 March 1943) is an English film, theatre, television and opera director.Roundell Palmer, 3rd Earl of Selborne
Roundell Cecil Palmer, 3rd Earl of Selborne, CH, PC (15 April 1887 – 3 September 1971), known as "Top Wolmer" and styled Viscount Wolmer from 1895 to 1941, was a British administrator, intelligence officer and Conservative politician.
|Awards of valour|
|Orders of chivalry|