Birthday Honours

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King's/Queen's Birthday Honours is, in some Commonwealth realms, the marking of the reigning monarch's official birthday by granting various individuals appointment into national or dynastic orders or the award of decorations and medals. The honours are presented by the monarch or a viceregal representative. New Year Honours and Birthday Honours are bestowed each year. All royal honours are published in the relevant gazette, and the daily newspapers of each realm.


Honours have been awarded with few exceptions on the sovereign's birthday since at least 1860, during the reign of Queen Victoria. There was no Birthday Honours list issued in 1876, which brought "a good deal of disappointment" and even rebuke for the Ministry of Defense. A lengthy article in the Broad Arrow newspaper forgave the Queen and criticised Gathorne Hardy for neglecting to award worthy soldiers with the Order of the Bath: "With the War Minister all general patronage of this description rests, and if Mr. Hardy has not seen fit to mark the occasion in the usual way, he alone can be blamed or praised or having neglected to follow in the beaten track of his predecessors." At the same time, it was noted that the Queen appeared to have issued her own honours by appointing the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught to be her personal aides-de-camp and the ailing King George of Hanover to be a general in Her Majesty's Army.[1]

The birthday of her successor, King Edward VII (r. 1901–1910), fell on 9 November 1901.[2][3] After 1908, the monarch's official birthday in the United Kingdom was moved to the first, second, or third Saturday in June. Other Commonwealth realms celebrate the official birthday of the monarch on different dates (generally late May or early June); honours are awarded accordingly.

The Birthday Honours were not issued on occasions when they coincided with Jubilee Honours in 1887 and 1897 and Coronation Honours in 1911, 1937, and 1953.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Birthday Gazette". Broad Arrow. 10 June 1876. p. 3. Retrieved 23 November 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ "No. 27374". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 November 1901. p. 7287.
  3. ^ "No. 27376". The London Gazette. 12 November 1901. p. 7291.

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