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 ACCHPC Former Prime Minister of Australia 26 January 1977 84
2 (237) Papua New Guinea Sir Michael Somare GCLGCMGCH, , PCMP Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea 3 June 1978 78
3 (238) United Kingdom The Lord Healey CHMBEPC Politician 12 June 1979 97
4 (246) Australia Doug Anthony ACCHPC Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 31 December 1981 84
5 (249) United Kingdom The Lord Carrington KGGCMGCHMCPCDL Politician 11 June 1983 95
6 (265) United Kingdom Sydney Brenner CH Biologist 31 December 1986 87
7 (267) United Kingdom The Lord Tebbit CHPC Politician 31 July 1987 83
8 (269) United Kingdom Stephen Hawking CHCBEFRS, FRSA Physicist 17 June 1989 72
9 (270) United Kingdom The Lord Baker of Dorking CHPC Politician 13 April 1992 79
10 (271) United Kingdom The Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville CHPC Politician 13 April 1992 80
11 (278) United Kingdom The Lord King of Bridgwater CHPC Politician 13 April 1992 81
12 (282) United Kingdom Dame Janet Baker CHDBE Opera singer 31 December 1993 81
13 (287) United Kingdom The Lord Owen CHPC Politician 11 June 1994 76
14 (289) United Kingdom Sir David Attenborough OMCHCVOCBE Broadcaster and naturalist 30 December 1995 88
15 (291) United Kingdom The Lord Hurd of Westwell CHCBEPC Politician 30 December 1995 84
16 (293) United Kingdom The Lord Howe of Aberavon CHQCPC Politician 15 June 1996 87
17 (294) United Kingdom David Hockney OMCH Artist 14 June 1997 77
18 (296) United Kingdom The Lord Heseltine CHPC Politician 2 August 1997 81
19 (297) United Kingdom The Lord Patten of Barnes CHPC Politician and former Governor of Hong Kong 31 December 1997 70
20 (298) United Kingdom Peter Brook CHCBE Theatre director 13 June 1998 89
21 (299) United Kingdom Sir John Major KGCHPC former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 31 December 1998 71
22 (300) United Kingdom Bridget Riley CHCBE Artist 31 December 1998 83
23 (305) Canada John de Chastelain CCCHCMM Canadian general and diplomat 31 December 1998 77
24 (311) United Kingdom Sir Harrison Birtwistle CH Composer 30 December 2000 80
25 (312) United Kingdom Sir Michael Howard OMCHCBEMCFBA Historian 15 June 2002 91
26 (313) United Kingdom Sir Howard Hodgkin CHCBE Artist 31 December 2002 82
27 (316) United Kingdom James Lovelock CHCBEFRS Scientist and environmentalist 31 December 2002 95
28 (317) United Kingdom Dan McKenzie CHFRS Geophysicist 14 June 2003 72
29 (318) United Kingdom The Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMGCH Diplomat 14 June 2003 69
30 (320) United Kingdom Dame Judi Dench CHDBE Actor 11 June 2005 79
31 (321) United Kingdom Sir Ian McKellen CHCBE Actor 31 December 2007 75
32 (322) United Kingdom The Lord Rogers of Riverside CH Architect 14 June 2008 81
33 (323) United Kingdom The Lord Howard of Lympne CHQCPC Politician 11 June 2011 73
34 (324) United Kingdom Sir George Young BtCHPCMP Politician 20 September 2012 73
35 (325) United Kingdom The Lord Coe CHKBE Athlete, politician, organiser of 2012 Olympics 29 December 2012 58
36 (326) United Kingdom Peter Higgs CHFRS Physicist 29 December 2012 85
37 (327) United Kingdom The Lord Strathclyde CHPC Politician 7 January 2013 54
38 (328) United Kingdom Sir Menzies Campbell CHCBEQCPCMP Politician 15 June 2013 73
39 (329) United Kingdom Sir Nicholas Serota CH Museum curator 15 June 2013 68
40 (330) United Kingdom Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CHCBE Composer 31 December 2013 80
41 (331) United Kingdom The Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve CHCBEFBAFRS Philosopher 31 December 2013 73
42 (332) United Kingdom Dame Maggie Smith CHDBE Actor 14 June 2014 79
43 (333) United Kingdom Kenneth Clarke CHQCPCMP Politician 22 July 2014 74
Honorary Companions
Member Number Name Known for Date of appointment Age
1 (196) Singapore Lee Kuan Yew GCMGCH Politician 1 January 1970 91
2 (261) India Amartya Sen CH Economist 11 May 2000 80
3 (304) Netherlands Bernard Haitink CHKBE Conductor 12 June 2002 85

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.