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 in June 1917 by King George V as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry, and religion. It is sometimes regarded as the junior order to the Order of Merit.[1]

Composition[edit]

The order consists of the Sovereign plus no more than 65 members. Additionally, foreigners 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.[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 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 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 to 7.[3]

While able to nominate candidates to the Order, New Zealand and Australia have effectively stopped the allocation of this award to their citizens in preference to their national awards. Up to this point of time, those countries have only nominated politicians who had served as Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.

Insignia[edit]

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.

Current Companions[edit]

Member number[n 1] Name Post-nominals Known for Date of appointment Age
1 (237) Papua New Guinea Sir Michael Somare GCL, GCMG, CH, PC, MP Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea 3 June 1978 79
2 (246) Australia Doug Anthony AC, CH, PC Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 31 December 1981 86
3 (249) United Kingdom The Lord Carrington KG, GCMG, CH, MC, PC, DL Politician 11 June 1983 96
4 (265) United Kingdom Sydney Brenner CH, FRS, FMedSci Biologist 31 December 1986 89
5 (267) United Kingdom The Lord Tebbit CH, PC Politician 31 July 1987 84
6 (269) United Kingdom Stephen Hawking CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA Physicist 17 June 1989 74
7 (270) United Kingdom The Lord Baker of Dorking CH, PC Politician 13 April 1992 81
8 (271) United Kingdom The Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville CH, PC Politician 13 April 1992 81
9 (278) United Kingdom The Lord King of Bridgwater CH, PC Politician 13 April 1992 82
10 (282) United Kingdom Dame Janet Baker CH, DBE Opera singer 31 December 1993 82
11 (287) United Kingdom The Lord Owen CH, PC Politician 11 June 1994 77
12 (289) United Kingdom Sir David Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE Broadcaster and naturalist 30 December 1995 89
13 (291) United Kingdom The Lord Hurd of Westwell CH, CBE, PC Politician 30 December 1995 85
14 (294) United Kingdom David Hockney OM, CH Artist 14 June 1997 78
15 (296) United Kingdom The Lord Heseltine CH, PC Politician 2 August 1997 82
16 (297) United Kingdom The Lord Patten of Barnes CH, PC Politician and former Governor of Hong Kong 31 December 1997 71
17 (298) United Kingdom Peter Brook CH, CBE Theatre director 13 June 1998 90
18 (299) United Kingdom Sir John Major KG, CH, PC Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 31 December 1998 72
19 (300) United Kingdom Bridget Riley CH, CBE Artist 31 December 1998 84
20 (305) Canada John de Chastelain CC, CMM, CD, CH Canadian general and diplomat 31 December 1998 78
21 (311) United Kingdom Sir Harrison Birtwistle CH Composer 30 December 2000 81
22 (312) United Kingdom Sir Michael Howard OM, CH, CBE, MC, FBA Historian 15 June 2002 93
23 (313) United Kingdom Sir Howard Hodgkin CH, CBE Artist 31 December 2002 83
24 (316) United Kingdom James Lovelock CH, CBE, FRS Scientist and environmentalist 31 December 2002 96
25 (317) United Kingdom Dan McKenzie CH, FRS Geophysicist 14 June 2003 73
26 (318) United Kingdom The Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMG, CH Diplomat 14 June 2003 70
27 (320) United Kingdom Dame Judi Dench CH, DBE Actress 11 June 2005 81
28 (321) United Kingdom Sir Ian McKellen CH, CBE Actor 31 December 2007 76
29 (322) United Kingdom The Lord Rogers of Riverside CH Architect 14 June 2008 82
30 (323) United Kingdom The Lord Howard of Lympne CH, QC, PC Politician 11 June 2011 74
31 (324) United Kingdom The Lord Young of Cookham Bt, CH, PC Politician 20 September 2012 74
32 (325) United Kingdom The Lord Coe CH, KBE Athlete, politician, organiser of 2012 Olympics 29 December 2012 59
33 (326) United Kingdom Peter Higgs CH, FRS Physicist 29 December 2012 86
34 (327) United Kingdom The Lord Strathclyde CH, PC Politician 7 January 2013 55
35 (328) United Kingdom The Lord Campbell of Pittenweem CH, CBE, PC, QC Politician 15 June 2013 74
36 (329) United Kingdom Sir Nicholas Serota CH Museum curator 15 June 2013 69
37 (330) United Kingdom Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CH, CBE Composer 31 December 2013 81
38 (331) United Kingdom The Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve CH, CBE, FBA, FRS, FMedSci Philosopher 31 December 2013 74
39 (332) United Kingdom Dame Maggie Smith CH, DBE Actress 14 June 2014 81
40 (333) United Kingdom Kenneth Clarke CH, QC, PC, MP Politician 22 July 2014 75
41 (334) United Kingdom The Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMG, CH, KBE, PC Politician 1 January 2015 74
42 (336) United Kingdom Dame Mary Peters CH, DBE Athlete 1 January 2015 76
43 (337) United Kingdom The Lord Young of Graffham CH, PC, DL Politician 1 January 2015 83
44 (338) United Kingdom Sir Neville Marriner CH, CBE Conductor 12 June 2015 91
45 (339) United Kingdom The Lord Woolf CH, PC, FBA, FMedSci Judge 12 June 2015 82
46 (341) United Kingdom Sir Roy Strong CH, FRSL Art historian, museum director 1 January 2016 80
Honorary Companions
Member number Name Post-nominals Known for Date of appointment Age
1 (261) India Amartya Sen CH Economist 11 May 2000 82
2 (304) Netherlands Bernard Haitink CH, KBE Conductor 12 June 2002 86
3 (340) South Africa Desmond Tutu CH Social rights activist and clergyman 30 November 2015 84

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 Monarch of the Today > Queen Ann arbor to the new one w 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.