The Honours System

Nominating for Honour

Honours are granted to deserving and high-achieving people from every section of the community and are announced twice a year – at New Year and at The King’s Official Birthday in June.

The Honours system rewards people for merit, service or bravery. The King has the sole right of conferring all titles of Honour, although anybody can make a nomination at any time for a British national to receive an Honour.

The King confers Honours mostly on the advice of the Cabinet Office. Nominations for Honours should be sent to the Ceremonial Secretariat of the Cabinet Office.

Further information, including a Nomination Form, is available on

Honours are normally available for the following level of service:

BEM (British Empire Medal)

Awarded for:

  • Achievement or contribution of a very ‘hands-on’ service to the community in a local geographical area.  This might take the form of sustained commitment in support of very local charitable and/or voluntary activity; or innovative work that has delivered real impact over a relatively short period (three to four years).


Awarded for:

  • Achievement or service in, and to, the community of a responsible kind which is outstanding in its field and has delivered a sustained impact
  • Very local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to others


Awarded for:

  • A distinguished regional or county-wide role in any field


Awarded for:

  • A prominent national or regional role or
  • Making a highly distinguished, innovative contribution in his or her area of activity

The Lieutenancy have produced a short guide to writing a nomination which you can read here; Guidance on writing a nomination (PDF, 150KB)

We can also put you in touch with a Deputy Lieutenant who can act as a mentor for those considering making a local nomination. The mentor cannot write your application but they can offer useful advice.  Please contact the Lieutenancy Officer (Robin Roberts) on for further information.

There is no deadline for the submission of completed Nomination Forms, although it should be borne in mind that nominations may take 12 months or more to proces