Order of the Companions of Honour

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Order of the Companions of Honour
Companion of Honour.jpg
Riband and badge of the "Companions of Honour"
Awarded by the sovereign of the Commonwealth realms
Type Order
Motto IN ACTION FAITHFUL AND IN HONOUR CLEAR
Awarded for Nationally important service
Status Currently constituted
Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II
Grades (w/ post-nominals) Companion (CH)
Established 1917
Order of the Companions of Honour Ribbon.gif
Ribbon bar of the order
Lord Tweedsmuir, as Governor General of Canada, wearing the Companion of Honour badge around his neck as part of his ceremonial Windsor uniform

The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry, or religion. It is sometimes regarded as the junior order to the Order of Merit.[1]

Composition of the order[edit]

The order consists of the Sovereign, plus no more than 65 Companions of Honour. Additionally, foreigners from outside the realms may be added as honorary members. Membership of the order confers no title, or precedence, but recipients of this one-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters CH. Appointments can be made on the advice of Commonwealth prime ministers.[1] For Canadians, the advice to the Sovereign can come from a variety of officials.[2]

Originally, the order was limited to 50 ordinary members, but it was enlarged to 65 in 1943 with a quota of 45 members for the United Kingdom, seven for Australia, two each for New Zealand and South Africa, and 9 for India, Burma and the colonies. The quota numbers were altered in 1970 to 47 for the United Kingdom, 7 for Australia, 2 for New Zealand and 9 for other Commonwealth realms. The quota was adjusted again in 1975 by adding 2 places to the New Zealand quota and reducing the 9 for the other countries.[3]

Appearance[edit]

The insignia of the order is in the form of an oval medallion with 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 badge's clear blue border bears 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) in gold letters, and the oval is surmounted by an imperial crown. Men wear the badge on a ribbon (red with golden border threads) around their necks, and women on a bow at the left shoulder.

Current Companions[edit]

Member Number[n 1] Name Known for Date of appointment Age
1 (231) Australia Malcolm Fraser AC CH PC Former Prime Minister of Australia 26 January 1977 83
2 (237) Papua New Guinea Sir Michael Somare GCL GCMG CH  PC Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea 3 June 1978 78
3 (238) United Kingdom The Lord Healey CH MBE PC Politician 12 June 1979 96
4 (246) Australia Doug Anthony AC CH PC Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 31 December 1981 84
5 (249) United Kingdom The Lord Carrington KG GCMG CH MC PC DL Politician 11 June 1983 94
6 (265) United Kingdom The Lord Tebbit CH PC Politician 31 July 1987 83
7 (267) United Kingdom Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS Physicist 17 June 1989 72
8 (269) United Kingdom The Lord Baker of Dorking CH PC Politician 13 April 1992 79
9 (270) United Kingdom The Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville CH PC Politician 13 April 1992 80
10 (271) United Kingdom The Lord King of Bridgwater CH PC Politician 13 April 1992 80
11 (278) United Kingdom Dame Janet Baker CH DBE Opera singer 31 December 1993 80
12 (282) United Kingdom The Lord Owen CH PC Politician 11 June 1994 75
13 (287) United Kingdom Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE Broadcaster and naturalist 30 December 1995 87
14 (289) United Kingdom The Lord Hurd of Westwell CH CBE PC Politician 30 December 1995 84
15 (291) United Kingdom The Lord Howe of Aberavon CH QC PC Politician 15 June 1996 87
16 (293) United Kingdom David Hockney OM CH Artist 14 June 1997 76
17 (294) United Kingdom The Lord Heseltine CH PC Politician 2 August 1997 81
18 (296) United Kingdom The Lord Patten of Barnes CH PC Politician and former Governor of Hong Kong 31 December 1997 69
19 (297) United Kingdom Peter Brook CH CBE Theater director 13 June 1998 89
20 (298) United Kingdom Sir John Major KG CH PC former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 31 December 1998 71
21 (299) United Kingdom Bridget Riley CH CBE Artist 31 December 1998 82
22 (300) Canada John de Chastelain CH OC CMM CD Canadian general and diplomat 31 December 1998 76
23 (305) United Kingdom Sir Harrison Birtwistle CH Composer 30 December 2000 79
24 (308) United Kingdom Sir George Christie CH Founder of Glyndebourne Festival Opera 31 December 2001 79
25 (311) United Kingdom Sir Michael Howard OM CH CBE MC FBA Historian 15 June 2002 91
26 (312) United Kingdom Sir Howard Hodgkin CH CBE Artist 31 December 2002 81
27 (313) United Kingdom James Lovelock CH CBE FRS Scientist and environmentalist 31 December 2002 94
28 (316) United Kingdom Dan McKenzie CH FRS Geophysicist 14 June 2003 72
29 (317) United Kingdom The Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMG CH Diplomat 14 June 2003 68
30 (318) United Kingdom Dame Judi Dench CH DBE Actor 11 June 2005 79
31 (320) United Kingdom Sir Ian McKellen CH CBE Actor 31 December 2007 74
32 (321) United Kingdom The Lord Rogers of Riverside CH Architect 14 June 2008 80
33 (322) United Kingdom The Lord Howard of Lympne CH PC QC Politician 11 June 2011 72
34 (323) United Kingdom Sir George Young Bt CH Politician 20 September 2012 72
35 (324) United Kingdom The Lord Coe CH KBE Athlete, politician, organiser of 2012 Olympics 29 December 2012 57
36 (325) United Kingdom Peter Higgs CH FRS Physicist 29 December 2012 84
37 (326) United Kingdom The Lord Strathclyde CH PC Politician 7 January 2013 54
38 (327) United Kingdom Sir Menzies Campbell CH CBE QC MP Politician 15 June 2013 72
39 (328) United Kingdom Sir Nicholas Serota CH Museum curator 15 June 2013 67
40 (329) United Kingdom Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CH CBE Composer 31 December 2013 79
41 (330) United Kingdom The Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve CH CBE FBA FRS Philosopher 31 December 2013 72
Honorary Companions
Member Number Name Known for Date of appointment Age
1 (196) Singapore Lee Kuan Yew GCMG CH Politician 1 January 1970 90
2 (261) South Africa Sydney Brenner CH Biologist 31 December 1986 87
3 (304) India Amartya Sen CH Economist 11 May 2000 80
4 (309) Netherlands Bernard Haitink CH KBE Conductor 12 June 2002 90

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The number shown in brackets is the individual's place in the wider sequence of appointment since the Order's inception.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Monarchy Today > Queen and public > Honours > Companions of Honour". Royal.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  2. ^ McCreery, Christopher (2005a). The Canadian Honours System. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-55002-554-5. 
  3. ^ Rayment, Leigh. "Companions of Honour". Retrieved 7 December 2013.