Talk:List of honorary British knights and dames

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Sergei Gruglov[edit]

Can anyone point me to some concrete evidence that Sergey/Sergei Kruglov was knighted? The London Gazette's archive doesn't come up with anything when I search for Kruglov. Slicing 19:15, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Kremlin Purge:,+british+order&dq=Sergei+Kruglov,+british+order&ei=vhSISuvNBZbWyASKhLXgDQ —Preceding unsigned comment added by GriersonOrigins (talkcontribs) 14:17, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

According to one Russian book detailing the lives of our secret police chiefs, Sergey Kruglov received some unnamed British order for providing security at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences. Mapple 20:35, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Honorary Dames overlooked[edit]

I had been fleshing out this page by searching on google for "Honorary Knight", but I just realized that I'm missing all the "Honorary Dames". So the disparity on this page in the ratio of males to females is entirely my fault due to that oversight. I will get around to fixing it eventually unless someone else finds this topic interesting enough to work on with me.  :-) Jimbo Wales 21:18, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Impact of changes in citizenship[edit]

I notice that someone added Anthony Hopkins, who was then removed because he is a "real Knight"... But isn't he a United States citizen these days? Does that make him now honorary? Does anybody know how that works? Might be worth adding to the page, perhaps, if anyone does know! Angmering 15:30, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I don't believe he actually renounced British nationality. -- Necrothesp 12:46, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)
No, he didn't. Also, Sidney Poitier isn't an honorary knight; as a dual-citizen (Bahamas/USA) who has a citizenship of a Commonwealth country that recognises the British monarch and awards knighthoods, he's a genuine 'Sir', so removing from list. Also changing 'subject' to 'citizen'; see 1981 British Citizenship Act. -- Holgate 21:43, Apr 2 2005 (UTC)
Although it should be pointed out that Sidney Poitier never uses his title. -- Necrothesp 22:00, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, though it is used on his behalf when he's on diplomatic business for the Bahamas. -- Holgate 13:26, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I know the Bahamas recognises the monarch but are you certain that they are allowed to accept bonafide British Honours ? In Canada we recognise the monarch but the practice of awarding british honours was severed with the Nickle Resolution in the 1930's. Dowew 18:12, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
The Nickle Resolution only changed the Canadian Government's policy on the matter, not the law. If the Queen announced tomorrow that the Canadian Prime Minister was now a Knight, there wouldn't be anything they could do (except complain, obviously). (And he'd be stuck with the knighthood, there being no way to renounce it.) Proteus (Talk) 18:27, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
And there have, in fact, been some cases relatively recently of the Canadian government being distinctly unhappy about knighthoods being awarded to Canadian citizens living in Britain. An example being Sir George Bain, Vice-Chancellor of the Queen's University of Belfast. -- Necrothesp 18:08, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
The most notable case of cource being Conrad Black - there is more about this on the Nickle resolution page. Dowew 23:36, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

And what about Bob Hope? Born in England, he would seem to be in the same boat as Plum Wodehouse. —Tamfang 16:57, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


This was moved to List of honorary British knights; I've moved it back to List of honorary British Knights, the correct capitalisation. HTH. James F. (talk) 13:44, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC) Hi, I've been following Berliner Philhamoniker for years, and I am interested in their current conductor, Simon Rattle. It is said on their official website that he was granted as KBE in 1994. However, when I looked up the list of KBE, I could not find his name. I would appreciate if anyone would verify this. Thanks a lot.

Michael Wang

Hong Kong[edit]

Several people from Hong Kong have recently appeared on this list. Presumably most, if not all, of these people were actually awarded substantive knighthoods/damehoods, as they were British subjects at the time, so should they really be on this list? Have their awards now switched to honorary awards (I'm not even sure if it is possible for a substantive award to retroactively be made honorary) or do they simply choose not to use them? If the latter then they should probably be removed. -- Necrothesp 23:14, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Special provision was made for people from Hong Kong to retain British nationality after 1997. See British_nationality_law_and_Hong_Kong, either as British Nationals (Overseas) or as full British citizens. However both of these statuses had to be applied for so your question is still valid, the same goes for any other former colony that became independent as a republic. It would also apply to any person granted a substantive knighthood and then naturalised in a non-Commonwealth country (such as the U.S.) before 1949, as at the time this caused loss of British nationality. JAJ 15:04, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
A full knighthood cannot retrospectively become honorary.Royalcourtier (talk) 05:30, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Knights of British India[edit]

There were many who were awarded Knighthood in india during british regime. I don't find them in the list. Should their names be here?


No. They were awarded substantive knighthoods, not honorary ones, since India was a full part of the British Empire. Only citizens of protectorates (like Zanzibar) and mandated territories (like Palestine) received honorary awards. Even subjects of the Indian princely states (and the princes themselves) received full awards. -- Necrothesp 1 July 2005 09:44 (UTC)
Foreign royalty also qualifies as honorary knights, I guess. I've added several monarchs from Europe and Asia to the list. Mapple 13:56, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

References ?[edit]

I would like to ask if there are any official reference lists (preferrably online) that one could consult regarding the Order of the British Empire. Thank you for any information you can provide. Tasis

The official site of the Order of the British Empire is here [1] but there doesn't seem to be a list. Dowew 18:23, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Knights or Ladies?[edit]

I suppose that foreign Queens become Honorary Knights of the Garter, not Honorary Ladies. Am I mistaken? Mapple 06:33, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

According to this article they are Ladies, but it may be wrong. -- Necrothesp 10:16, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
There is a contradiction there. I'll quote, 'In 1987 Her Majesty the Queen decided that ladies should be eligible for admission as Companions of the Order, with the same rank and privileges as Knights Companions. The first Lady Companion to be appointed was Lavinia Duchess of Norfolk in 1990, followed in 1995 by the former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher.' Thus neither Queen Beatrix (1988) nor Queen Margrethe (1979) are counted among Ladies. But 'Her Majesty Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands joins HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, her own mother Princess Juliana and Queen Margarethe of Denmark as the contemporary Ladies of the Order and HM The Queen's daughter HRH Princess Ann...'. Mapple 18:03, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Not really a contradiction. Ladies had been admitted to the Order on an honorary basis pretty much since its foundation. The Duchess of Norfolk was, however, the first to be admitted to the Order as a full Companion counting as one of the 25 full members. See Order of the Garter#Sovereign and Knights. -- Necrothesp 18:41, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
I know... but were Ladies admitted as Honorary Ladies, or as Honorary Knights? For example, what post-nominal letters, if any, were used for Queen Margrethe II in 1979, when there were no Ladies Companions--'LG' or 'KG'? Mapple 19:04, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
As a Sovereign, she wouldn't have used post-nominals. Proteus (Talk) 18:28, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
True, but she would still have had a designation when awarded the honour. -- Necrothesp 17:57, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Anne Murray[edit]

according to her wikipedia page, Canadian singer Anne Murray was made an honourary DBE. Murray was the first canadian singer to get a #1 record in the United States. Is this DBE correct or vandalism ? Dowew 17:52, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Not sure. But it wouldn't have been honorary if she did get the DBE. As a citizen of a country ruled by the Queen, her honour would have been substantive, even if by Canadian convention she didn't use the title. -- Necrothesp 18:00, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
I think it is incorrect data. Her official site doesn't list it [2] and neither does her Order of Canada citation which has been updated to include her Order of Nova Scotia [3] Dowew 23:33, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Isn't this confusion with the Irish mezzo Ann Murray who was made an honorary dame?

Yes, I believe so. It's been reverted. The Canadian Anne Murray was also supposedly made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1975 and again in 1984 - see List of Anne Murray awards#Other achievements. The earlier one must have been at Member or Officer level. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:46, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
This would make sense - My understanding is that Canada takes a very dim view of its citizens being given knighthoods. Honours short of knighthood are viewed more positively. Whilst it would be conceivable for an expatriate Canadian living in the UK to be created a knight or dame, this would be highly unlikely for a Canadian normally resident in Canada. AusTerrapin (talk) 17:03, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Expat Canadians have been knighted in the recent past and it has caused diplomatic incidents! -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:43, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Simon Rattle[edit]

Hi, I am following Berliner Philharmoniker for years, and I am interested in their current conductor Simon Rettle particularly. It is said (from their official website) that Mr. Rettle was granted as KBE in 1994. However, when I looked up the list of KBE, I could not find his name on it. Does anyone know if he really was granted? or the honoring system works in other ways? Thanks.

Michael W

Simon Rattle was made a Knight Bachelor, not a KBE. His knighthood is substantive, not honorary, as he is a British subject, and he is therefore Sir Simon. -- Necrothesp 10:56, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

OM, CH and RVC[edit]

Earlier today I removed a swag of guys who were awarded these honours. I removed them because the title "List of honorary British Knights" suggested to me they didn't belong here. Later, I read the opening a bit more closely and discovered the list is intended to include these honours, despite the fact that the recipients are not knights. This is a source of confusion and needs to be sorted out. One option would be to rename the list as something like "Foreigners Awarded British Honours". The thing is, honorary appointments to the Order of Merit and the Order of the Companions of Honour are already listed on their respective pages, so it seems silly to double them up here. The only non-knights who appear on this list who don't appear elsewhere, are recipients of the Royal Victorian Chain. I recommend we remove the RVC recipients and have them listed on the RVC page only, and have a proper list of honorary RVCs just like we have for OMs and CHs. Then this list can become what it says it is, a list of honorary British Knights and no more. JackofOz 08:44, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Renaming it "Foreigners Awarded British Honours" would open it up to endless lists of people being awarded OBEs and the like, which would make it too long in my opinion. The OM, CH and RVC are awards of an equal status to knighthoods, which is why they've been included, and I think we should continue to include them. Maybe it should be renamed though (since women aren't knights either, but I definitely think we should include honorary dames). -- Necrothesp 11:00, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Well, if we're going to continue to include CH, OM and RVC, we certainly can't continue to call the list "List of honorary British Knights". Even "List of honorary British Knights and Dames" doesn't solve the problem. But something like "List of honorary British Knights, Dames and Recipients of equivalent honours" is unwieldy and ugly. JackofOz 11:22, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
BTW, re your statement that RVC is equivalent to a knighthood. Our article says ".. in fact, the Chain is not even given a precedence within the British honours system". That seems to suggest that no equivalence can exist because the RVC is not even a part of the honours system to begin with. Where does that leave us? JackofOz 11:26, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Technically true, but it is a very high award that tends to go to heads of state and royals, so I think it's appropriate here. -- Necrothesp 15:38, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

British Citizens / British Subjects[edit]

There is a popular myth out there (particularly among Americans) that British people are "British subjects". This is false, and since 1983 the term "British subject" has a specific meaning referring only to certain people who derive British nationality from British India or the Republic of Ireland pre 1949. See British subject

British citizens are not British subjects under the law.

It's accepted that to hold a substantive knighthood one needs to be a citizen of a country which has the Queen as Head of State, however the use of the term British subject in any context other than its statutory meaning invites confusion. JAJ 02:06, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorry to disappoint your opinion about this being a misconception of Americans, but I'm very British and I'm proud to be a subject, not a citizen. I'm fully aware what it says on my passport, but that is merely to make us the same as the rest of the world - a sad state of affairs. As a native of a monarchy, not a republic, I am a subject of a monarch. Since the monarch is the fount of all honour, one must be a subject of the monarch to receive a substantive honour. It therefore seems wholly appropriate, and not in the slightest bit confusing, to use the term in this article. -- Necrothesp 13:32, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
British citizens are subjects of Her Majesty in right of the United Kingdom, in common with British overseas territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British Nationals (Overseas) and British subjects (per the British Nationality Act 1981). The constitutional status of British protected persons is different and they are not generally considered to be subjects of Her Majesty.
There is a contrary view that being a British citizen is a more appropriate term for a constitutional monarchy, but that's not really the question here. What is more important is to use a NPOV term that reflects the facts and does not cause confusion to those less familiar with constitutional nuances than you are.
I still have doubts that "British subject" is the most appropriate term to use, at least not without further clarification. What term would you suggest to describe Australians, Canadians and citizens of the other Commonwealth Realms? As they are subjects of Her Majesty in right of another Realm, the term "British subject" doesn't necessarily represent the constitutional reality in these instances. JAJ 20:37, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
On 26 January 1949, the Citizenship Act 1948 came into force in Australia. The day before, all Australians were British subjects. But from 26 Jan, they became Australian citizens. All immigrants who have been naturalised since then are Australian citizens. Our monarch is the "Queen of Australia" (who just happens to live in Britain). We are not subjects of the "Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (a different crown), and "British subjects" we are most definitely not. JackofOz 21:17, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Nobody has said that people from the Commonwealth Realms are "British" subjects (although they are most certainly subjects of Her Majesty - in fact, I have heard an Australian describe himself as an "Australian subject" on TV). But the people who are listed in this article as becoming British subjects have indeed become such and it is by virtue of becoming subjects that they become eligible to use their knighthoods substantively. -- Necrothesp 05:26, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I have added a footnote explaining the use of the term "British subject" in the context of this article. JAJ 14:56, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Knight Bachelor vs KBE[edit]

When someone gets an honorary knighthood they usually acquire an honorary KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire). However substantive knighthoods are usually in the form of Knight Bachelor

When someone awarded an honorary KBE subsequently becomes British and receives a substantive honour, do they get a "substantive KBE" or a "substantive Knight Bachelor" and if the latter, do they keep their KBE title as well? JAJ 15:09, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it's true to say that "substantive knighthoods are usually in the form of Knight Bachelor". Maybe there are more knights bachelor than any other single category of knighthood.
They were given a KBE but it was only because of the nationality issue that it had to be honorary. Once the nationality changes, the KBE changes from honorary to substantive. If a person had an honorary KBE and later became British, to then be given a substantive Knight Bachelor would represent a kind of demotion. And unless the honorary KBE were rescinded, they would have two knighthoods: KBE (honorary) and Knight bachelor (substantive). I guess this is technically possible, if slightly absurd. They would be "Sir" because the Knight bachelor, and have the KBE post-nominal, so it would be impossible to tell that the KBE belonging to "Sir James Smith KBE" was honorary. JackofOz 20:12, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
The majority of substantive knighthoods are indeed Knights Bachelor. KCVOs, KCBs and KCMGs are awarded only to specific classes of people and very few substantive knighthoods are KBEs (most of those that are are on the Overseas List, for some reason). But the honorary knighthood and the substantive knighthood are not different things - if someone gets an honorary KBE then they do not receive another knighthood when it becomes substantive; the same knighthood is merely converted from honorary to substantive form. -- Necrothesp 22:53, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
That suggests that anyone who gets an honorary KBE and then becomes British would end up with a substantive KBE. I don't see how it could work otherwise. And isn't a substantive KBE ranked higher in the order of precedence than a Knight Bachelor, which those who are already British are normally awarded? JAJ 00:23, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely right on both counts. -- Necrothesp 00:40, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
A linked question. How did British politician James Molyneaux get a KBE rather than a Knight Bachelor? Or is the Wikipedia article incorrect? JAJ 04:26, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I understand that if a person already is in the Order of the British Empire (MBE, OBE) then if they are subsequently knighted that knighthood will be a KBE - representing a promotion within the Order. DuncanHill 20:26, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is true - singer Tom Jones has an OBE and is a Knight Bachelor. JAJ 01:57, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
It's absolutely not true. Many people have OBEs or CBEs and then go on to become Knights Bachelor. Most acting knights do, for a start. The KBE tends to be used when a slightly higher class of knighthood is required or when the person lives outside the Commonwealth Realms (for some reason). But often it's not at all clear why someone has been made a KBE instead of a Knight Bachelor. -- Necrothesp 18:35, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Revoked knighthoods ?[edit]

Anyone up for starting a page about people who's knighthood has been revoked ? So far I have found Albert Henry and Nicolae Ceauşescu..and of cource all those German princes after WWI. And Emperor Hirohito...anyone have any ideas ? Dowew 03:17, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Also Anthony Blunt. -- Necrothesp 23:46, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
And Terry Lewis and Roger Casement. -- JackofOz (talk) 08:04, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
And Robert Mugabe [4]--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:22, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Donald Tsang[edit]

Does anyone know whether his knighthood was awarded before or after the return of Hong Kong to China? If awarded before 1 July 1997 then it should have been substantive, not honorary. JAJ 04:46, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

14 June 1997, according to the London Gazette, so substantive. I'll remove his name. -- Necrothesp 23:41, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Could somebody please tell me why the title and most mentions in the article are spelt 'honorary' and not the British English 'honourary'? I know spelling arguments can often be petty, but unless I'm misunderstanding something, I'd have though this one is pretty clear cut. SteveLamacq43 21:09, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Although British English uses "honour" instead of "honor", it usually uses "honorary" not "honourary" (the latter is acceptable, but is very rarely used and would probably be considered archaic). One of the peculiarities of the English language (which is almost never regular)! So basically, "honorary" is entirely correct, and "honourary", while also technically correct, would be considered highly peculiar. -- Necrothesp 23:21, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining, I had no idea! Well, even at my age, every day's a school day! Cheers, SteveLamacq43 13:10, 26 November 2006 (UTC)


Section 7, Royalty.

I want to collect all the various German states under "Germany" with the states as a subsection. It will also give me a chance to put some rulers in the proper section (I see that Kaiser Wilhelm is listed under the German Empire, but his sons under Prussia, for example)

Any objections? --garryq 13:40, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I think they're better left under the individual states. The reason why Wilhelm II is under Germany and most of his sons under Prussia is that they were usually referred to as "Prince X of Prussia" - only the Emperor and Crown Prince were usually referred to as being "of Germany". -- Necrothesp 14:02, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Winthrop W. Aldrich's GBE: 1947, not 1957[edit]

The current (uncited !!) claim is that "Aldrich was made GBE in 1957 at the conclusion of his term as US Ambassador to the UK". This override my (cited !!) claim that his GBE dated from 1947.

One may choose to disregard Time magazine from 1952 on this matter, but how does one explain that Aldrich was being referred to as a GBE as at 1954? Or as at 24 July 1953? Or, most tellingly of all, in a notice from Buckingham Palace dated 20 February 1953, published in the London Gazette of 24 February 1953?

For my money, this GBE well predated his departure from the UK in 1957. Please use citations in future, particularly if you wish to revert the citations employed by other editors. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 17:46, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I apologise. My sources suggested he was appointed in 1957. However, your patronising tone was a little unnecessary. And I should point out that if he was appointed GBE in 1947 he should not appear on the diplomatic list, since at the time he was a banker! -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:20, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
There was no intention to be patronising, and I'm sorry if it came across that way. I guess I was more than a little peeved by having my citation initially totally ignored in favour of an assertion that had nothing to back it up. I don't mind editors arguing for their preferred source, but whatever source you had, you didn't see fit to share it with us. That raises my hackles every time, because it looks like either arrogance or sheer bloody-mindedness. You're right, he doesn't belong on the diplomatic list. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 10:07, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Timeline at the top of the article[edit]

The timeline at the top of the article, indicating the number of year, appears to be sadly out of date, going only up through 2001. I wonder how difficult it might be to flesh it out. I wonder, as well, whether this entire list might be better presented as a table with sortable columns, with heading such as: name, nationality, year, precise honour (if there are variations, which there may not be, I am unsure), and category (Entertainment and the Arts, Politics and government, etc.).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:26, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I've started work (manually) on a table version, here: Talk:List of honorary British knights and dames/Temp table version draft. I don't know if there might be a more efficient way to fill this in, other than laboriously copying the information from the existing article. Advice?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:48, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Are you after a place on the list, Jimbo? ;) JRawle (Talk) 22:52, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
I've finished the bulk transfer across into the table. At this point I restricted each person to one entry, however I wonder if it would not be better to split separate awards (to the one individual) into separate entries. This would allow for more effective sorting by date/award at the expense of having more entries. If we do go for the split, some checking on dates will be required for those individuals who have a tbd against the date of award as it was not always entirely clear whether a date belonged to two (or more) preceding awards or just to the one award with the other award missing a date - at this stage I have erred on the side of assuming the later. Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 17:18, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm. A GCVO extinguishes a KCVO. How did you do that so quickly? - Kittybrewster 10:25, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Indeed it does, however there is still significance in recording the earlier creation for a more complete historic understanding. Perhaps the intro needs to make the point that members may be promoted within an order and therefore the earlier creation is superceded. To do the transfer, I copied the original wikitext into Word, used find and replace to insert tabs to help establish columns of data then exported to Excel to tidy up the table en masse (filtering was particularly useful). Once I was happy with it, I then reversed the process using find and replace to convert the tabs into the column separators, etc. Finally brought it back into Wikipedia and debugged any obvious outstanding problems in preview mode. Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 12:50, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Amazing my friends[edit]

This is starting to look quite amazing. I'm now thinking about how to improve it further...

First, the current new version of the page breaks this into multiple tables. This is much easier for editing and may indeed be easier for reading. My thinking when I started the table, though, was to include the "Category" as a column, so that sorting could be done to get all awards from, say, 1947, quite easily. Is it our intention to combine the table into one when we go live?

Additionally, our categorization raises for me some questions. Are these categories that we are making up for the convenience of our readers (that's ok for us to do I think) or are they official categories?

Finally, I'm interested in improving the quality of the table and wondering where we might find the most definitive sourcing. I just added a link to a Word document that randomly popped up in a google search, but it doesn't explain itself very well. I'm afraid of someone adding names in the past that didn't have any source and us being wrong about some of these - particularly historical ones where Wikipedia doesn't even have an article on the person.

We've had problems in the past with people adding, for example, Paul McCartney to this list. Random passerby likely don't understand what the list is, and I fear that in the distant past when we weren't looking closely, names may have been added that are entirely fictitious.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:11, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

This page has links to the full honours lists for each year going back to 2005. The only problem I see is that for the older ones, the format of downloading the pages (one by one!) is quite tedious.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:33, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Note that honorary awards rarely appear on the New Year and Birthday Honours Lists. They usually involve searching in the London Gazette and often can't be found at all. The Gazette is as close to definitive sourcing for honours as you can get. On another note, I have copyedited and kept an eye on this page for a long time, and as far as I know there are no fictitious names on it. There is nothing official about the categories - they were only added for ease of finding names. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:32, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you! As you can see from further up on the talk page, I was interested in this topic back in 2004 and then I wasn't watching for a long time. I'm glad you have been. At the same time, of course I am sure you agree with me that we need to have an ongoing project to improve the sourcing for the list - I think this particularly true for some of the obscure ones who don't even have a wikipedia entry.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:50, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I completely agree. Although eventually, of course, they should all have a Wikipedia entry (if they're important enough to be knighted they should be notable enough for an article). I'm working on people who feature on older honours lists (which is why I'm not doing as much as I used to on this page!). -- Necrothesp (talk) 20:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I have added some references (and new entries) from the London Times, still a lot more to go! The Times sometime refers to the London Gazette but is a lot easier to search. I would think that the table is far better than the current article and should be moved to be the main article. MilborneOne (talk) 16:13, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, and done! This will give it wider visibility and I'm really proud of our work here!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:50, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

I was looking at holding off until I had finished doing a first pass check for countries, however it wasn't critical and what is done is done. The big advantage is an effective talk page area!

My current plan of attack for developing this page is as follows:

  • Continue first pass update of countries - (my personal focus is on articles with an existing Wikipedia entry, others update entries as they see fit). As part of this process, ensure that linked pages are correctly categorised using the honorary categories eg 'Category:Honorary Knights of the Garter', 'Category:Honorary Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour', etc.
  • Once first pass is complete (I am using the existing sequence and split to monitor where I am at; MilbourneOne may also be using it as aid), resequence list alphabetically by surname (or equivalent). Rationale: I believe this is the optimum order for the list, as it allows for handling of the variation in name sequences which would otherwise require a dedicated sort key, while the other columns will sort more easily - this will particularly be the case once multiple awards to the one individual are split into separate rows (after updating country data).
  • Re-split table by letter (or couple of letters if there are only a handful of entries) to facilitate editing until the table stabilises. Rationale - I originally separated the single table for editing as a temporary measure whilst there is a major upgrade of the quality and breadth of data provided (separating on categories was expedient at the time). This short-term requirement hasn't changed, however some of the current categories are still too large for efficient editing. Breaking it into smaller chunks will also minimise the effort in deconflicting edit conflicts (currently an issue with the level of activity on the page, particularly since I have been doing block edits)
  • Update list with additional entries currently categorised as 'Category:Recipients of Honorary British Knighthoods'. This needs to wait until all people linked from this page have had their categorisation checked. At the completion of this process, the balance can then be added here and recategorised appropriately.
  • Continue to develop the list by providing citations for all entries, official source (such as London Gazette, National Archives) if possible.
  • Add new entries. In particular, I have notice in the late 19th C/early 20th C the London Gazette often had lists of honorary appointments for the Royal Victorian Chain/Royal Victorian Order following state visits (either to the UK or abroad).
  • Once the list stabilises revert to a single table to take full advantage of the sort feature.

We need to adopt a convention for dealing with titles/honorifics - at present this is all over the place. Where the title is part of the linked article name, it is in the name column, usually in the form used for the article title. In other cases, particularly military rank, it is in the notes column and, to a casual reader, it is not clear whether the rank used is the rank at the time of the creation as a knight/dame or the person's ultimate rank. This is an issue which also effects royalty/peers, although there is greater certainty, in this instance, that the title is their ultimate title. As I see it, the two initial questions we need to answer are 'is it relevant to mention their rank/title at the time of the award?' and 'is it relevant to mention their ultimate rank/title?' The next question to answer is 'how (and where) do we want to display the information that we believe is relevant?' I am inclined to think that both would be useful, the first helps to set some context about why they were created a knight/dame while the latter is more likely to be what readers know them as. I think that both these pieces of information should have their own column. This would facilitate sorting by rank/title which may be useful for some readers.

I think the notes field should be reserved for a brief description of the reason for the award, including (where relevant) the appointment/job held at the time. It should also be used to note subsequent promotion to a higher grade in the same order, conversion to a substantive knighthood on change of nationality, voluntary relinquishment of knighthood and rescinded knighthoods.

Also, MilbourneOne adopted the convention of references being created in the footnotes section with only short referencing in the table. Whilst this is a little more cumbersome, given the sheer size of the table I think it is necessary as it avoids cluttering the coding for the table. In my view this should also be adopted as a standard convention for this page, as should use of the appropriate citation templates. I have been collapsing these, to aid in separation and reduce the length of what is already a massive page. Open to thoughts on whether this is a good idea. My key position on this is that there needs to be some separation between reference entries on the edit page to facilitate rapid identification of where one finishes and another starts. Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 17:03, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Article to do list[edit]

The following is a working to do list, feel free to update it. I have avoided listing activities that need to wait until pre-cursor tasks have been completed.

  • Populate nationality column for linked Wikipedia articles:
  • Arts and entertainment Green tickY
  • Politics and government Green tickY
  • Diplomatic Green tickY
  • Military Green tickY
  • Business Green tickY
  • Religion Green tickY
  • Royalty Green tickY
  • Professional, humanitarian and exploration Green tickY
  • Check and updated categories on linked Wikipedia articles:
  • Arts and entertainment Green tickY
  • Politics and government Green tickY
  • Diplomatic Green tickY
  • Military Green tickY
  • Business Green tickY
  • Religion Green tickY
  • Royalty
  • Professional, humanitarian and exploration Green tickY
  • Check for potentially rescinded awards:
  • Herrmann von Broizem - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Karl von Bülow - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Alphons, Count zu Dohna - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Hans von Koester - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Wenzel Freiherr Kotz von Dobrz - due to status as an Austrian during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Wolf, Baron Marschall - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Helmuth von Moltke the Younger - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Dedo Charles Henry von Schenck - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Alfred von Tirpitz - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Guido von Usedom - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom
  • Frederick Otto Wahle - due to status as a German during World War I and therefore an enemy of the United Kingdom:* Philippe Pétain - due to World War II collaboration with Nazi Germany
  • Jean-Marie Charles Abrial - due to World War II collaboration with Nazi Germany
  • Check awards:
  • George S. Patton Appointment as a CB has been confirmed, but was he created a GCB or KBE or appointed an OBE? Uncertainty is due changes on main article page which were all unsourced.
  • Create (or find and link existing) page and check categorisation for red link pages
  • Populate missing date / country information
  • Populate reason for award
  • Provide references
  • Move long citation information to reference list and convert to citation templates where not currently used

Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 13:55, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


Although Australia (and Canada) may disapprove of awards other than those in the Queen's prerogative, they are still not honorary. Any award granted to a subject of the Queen is automatically substantive, whether the government of the relevant country approves or not, and the person honoured has every right (unlike an honorary knight or dame) to use the title. Whether or not the Australian government considers the award to be honorary or not (and I'm not convinced this is the case, although the Australian government no longer recommends people for "British" honours) is not really relevant in this article. I have therefore removed the section. -- Necrothesp (talk) 20:04, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the removal. Australia does not "disapprove" of British honours; and it does not "consider" such awards to be honorary. There are a number of living Australian knights and dames who get to use all their styles and postnoms without demur from anyone in authority; and there are zillions of Australians with MBEs, OBEs etc etc. It's just that we've discontinued recommending our citizens for these awards as we have our own Honours system. The writer of the paragraph took things a little far. Granted, the UK is now considered a foreign country for Australian constitutional purposes; thus, a UK citizen and a Mongolian citizen neither of whom have adopted Australian citizenship and relinquished their original citizenship, are equally ineligible to be elected to the Australian Parliament. But Australia is still a Commonwealth realm, and while we may have our own views on what awards are appropriate for our citizens, the Queen still has the power to grant awards to them that are recommended by the government of a different Commonwealth realm. The only thing is, UK honours are given by the Queen of the UK, Australian honours are given by the Queen of Australia, but there's nothing to say the Queen of the UK cannot give a British honour to a subject of the Queen of Australia.
However, it doesn't work in reverse: substantive awards in the Order of Australia are made only to Australian citizens (the Order was set up this way in 1975); non-Australians, including UK citizens such as Robyn Williams and NZ citizens such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, qualify for honorary awards only. Even some Australian-born people have lost their right to a substantive award by losing Australian citizenship (e.g. Malcolm Williamson; and if anyone can shed any light on his particular case, I'd be eternally grateful). -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 21:55, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. You beat me to the punch with the deletion, I was going to provide the citation (which would have seen me correct the effective date), just hadn't got there yet. Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (CAG) S548 22 Dec 1997 'Guidelines Concerning the Acceptance and Wearing of Foreign Honours and Awards by Australians' (guidelines which were approved by the Queen) paragraph 9 provides that "Foreign awards which provide for the use of post-nominals or titles in their country of origin may only be accepted on the understanding that the use of the post-nominals or honorary titles by Australians in Australia will not be recognised officially. Foreign awards are to be worn in accordance with The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards." CAG S48 8 Feb 1989 (cited in Michael Maton, The National Honours & Awards of Australia, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1990, ISBN 0864176791, p 143) stipulated that all future (emphasis added) awards from the British government would be regarded as foreign, this effectively excepted those awards in the personal perogative of the Sovereign. It was not retrospective so all awards prior to 08 Feb 1989 are unaffected. CAG S192 28 Sep 2007 'The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards' details which Imperial awards are considered foreign awards (when issued after 1989). In accordance with CAG S192, contemporary award of the following Imperial awards are not considered foreign: (Imperial) VC, KG/LG, KT/LT, OM, GCVO, KCVO/DCVO, CVO, LVO, MVO, RVM, Vietnam Medal, Rhodesia Medal, Coronation and Jubilee Medals (only up to QEII Silver Jubilee). Contemporary awards of the following Imperial orders considered foreign: GCB, GCMG, GBE, CH, KCB/DCB, KCMG/DCMG, KBE/DBE, CB, CMG, CBE, DSO, OBE, ISO, MBE, RRC, ARRC, BEM. AKs are an entirely different issue as they are within the Australian honours system but, as noted, they were discontinued, without prejudice to existing holders in 1986. In the order of wear, Australia does not distinguish (as does the UK) between awards from Commonwealth countries and other countries, they are all treated as foreign awards and are worn in order of date of approval for wear.
The statutes of both the Order of the Bath and the Order of the British Empire refer to 'Foreign persons' being styled 'Honorary' but neither define foreign. In the absence of a definition in the Statutes, other sources need to be relied upon to establish this distinction. Empirical evidence has been tricky to confirm as issues of citizenship are key. The most common scenario is going to be an ex-pat Australian living in the UK who is subsequently given an award for their service whilst in the UK. For example, Kylie Minogue was appointed a substantive OBE. While there is no evidence to suggest she has given up Australian citizenship, evidence of her UK status is unclear - is she a UK permanent resident only (which would support the argument that awards to Australians are substantive not honorary) or is she a dual citizen (which would render her a non-example)? The constitutional, legislative, immigration and honours system separation between Australia and the UK all point in the direction of the Australians being considered foreign. In the case of immigration, the last time I looked into it, unless one's grandfather (but not grandmother), father or mother was a UK citizen and resident, we now have less rights than EU members from the former Soviet bloc! The upshot is we need some reliable sources to establish that Australians are still entitled to substantive awards from the British government. Any empirically based evidence will need to be for awards post Feb 1989 and be backed up by reliable evidence of citizenship status. Regardless, the paragraph establishing distinctions with respect to Australians is still warranted albeit, perhaps it needs to be modified to more clearly articulate the situation and the currently slightly grey areas. At best, there may be confirmation that appointments are substantive in which case, if awards are made, the title and post-nominal may potentially be used outside Australia. Please bear in mind though that it is official recognition that is significant. After all, Honorary Knights (from the US, for example) are perfectly capable of styling themselves 'Sir', it would not be officially recognised and would be considered poor form, but nothwithstanding, it is conceivable that an individual might.
With regards to the comment 'but there's nothing to say the Queen of the UK cannot give a British honour to a subject of the Queen of Australia', I think you may underestimate the power of established conventions in regards to the monarch not overruling the wishes of her governments. The days of absolute royal power in the UK/Commonwealth died long ago. Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 00:30, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
But note that it has already happened in relation to Canada. Canadian citizens living in Britain, but without British nationality, have been knighted substantively. Canada has objected, but that hasn't changed the status of the award. Given that the Canadian government has disapproved of titles for many decades longer than the Australian government, I doubt whether the situation re Australia would be any different. To my knowledge, neither Kylie Minogue nor Rolf Harris, both appointed substantively to the Order of the British Empire, have taken British citizenship. The Statutes of the Orders were written when all people living in the British Empire were British subjects, so the concept of "foreign" didn't apply to any subject of the Sovereign. I suspect that "foreign" would now be interpreted to mean anyone who is not a subject of the Sovereign not who is not a British citizen. -- Necrothesp (talk) 11:40, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
There are at least 3 cases of Australians who've been given UK knighthoods after Australia stopped recommending such awards:
I know the Australian authorities were involved in May's peerage, because they objected to his original choice of title and he was required to choose what he ultimately chose; but whether they had any say in his knighthood, or the other 2 knighthoods, I could not say. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 12:03, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
The KCVO is irrelevant, we are all agreed that it is substantive (Sovereign's personal perogative). The Knights Bachelor examples are relevant but there is no definitive evidence of citizenship vs residency as far as I am aware. This is also complicated by the timing of residency and the changes to UK and Australian legislation, constitution etc. Having said that, I think that Edington's residency in the UK may have been recent enough to have been after all of the relevant changes and therefore may be a useful test case whereas May is problematic. It looks as if the the most likely explanation is that awards to Australians, when made, may be substantive however, due to Australian regulations (which were approved by the Queen, not the Governor General), they are still considered foreign awards and do not entitle the recipient to the use of the pre-nominal style or post-nominal letters in any Australian context. Interestingly all examples provided fit the profile I described earlier: ex-patriate Australian moves to UK, works there in a private (as opposed to public) capacity and is awarded for contributions to an aspect of UK society in the same fashion as any UK citizen, the only distinguishing feature compared to nominations for UK citizens being, potentially, different citizenship. At this stage, I suspect that the only way we are going to get an unambiguous result is to seek feedback from the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood and from the (Australian) Awards and Culture Branch of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet - its sufficiently esoteric that published secondary sources covering the finer points probably don't exist. Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 21:14, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Iris Origo[edit]

No evidence in the entry in the London Times or the London Gazette that her DBE was honorary. She appears in the Diplomatic and Overseas List but the LG makes no mention as it would normally do that it is honorary. MilborneOne (talk) 21:37, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Category names for revoked awards[edit]

As part of ensuring a comprehensive web of categories to cover Imperial knighthoods, I am establishing categories to cover revoked awards. The Official Website of the British Monarchy 'The Order of the Garter', Martin Frost's Scottish Anatomy 'The Thistle Knights' and Thomas Robson, The British Herald, or Cabinet of Armorial Bearings of the nobility & gentry of the Great Britain and Ireland, 1830 p 76 (section on Knights Bachelor), all refer to knights being degraded. The Statutes of the Royal Victorian Order, the Order of the Bath and the Order of the British Empire all refer to the appointments of knights as being cancelled and annulled. It seems to me that there is merit in standardising on one term for the purpose of category naming. My thought is that if the one term is to be used, it would be better to use the term degraded as the older and more traditional term. Alternatives are to standardise on annulled or to not standardise and to use the term most closely associated with each order. I would appreciate comment before I raise the new categories. Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 21:52, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Nickij1990, 29 October 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} Under Arts & Entertainment there should be Sir James Galway as he has not been listed but had certanly been awarded an obe !

Nickij1990 (talk) 15:07, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Declined - James Galway is a citizen of the the United Kingdom so his Knight Bachelor is not honorary which is normally only for foreigners. MilborneOne (talk) 18:37, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Jose Martins Pinheiro Neto[edit]

José Martins Pinheiro Neto, KBE (alongside Pele) was a Brazilian National. One of the most important characters of the Law practice history in Brazil (to say the least). (talk) 23:53, 31 March 2011 (UTC)Joao Busin, Brazil

First class, second class[edit]

Is there a source for dividing the honours in this way? I can see listing them in order of precedence, but unless there is a solid source for naming them "first" and "second", we shouldn't. I just don't know the answer, but I had never heard of this distinction before.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:52, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

There having been no response for a couple of days, I'm going to remove the distinction.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:12, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 15 July 2012[edit]

For Rodrigo de Saavedra y Vinent, 2nd Marques de Villalobar, please add "Spanish minister in Brussels 1913-1921" if you think it could be useful to have a little more information on this person.

I am currently translating into English a Wikipedia Spain page on the Marques de Villalobar ( and will request a link to be made to the English page when it is ready.

Thank you.

Scipiona (talk) 07:54, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Done Andie ▶(Candy)◀ 09:32, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 16 March 2014[edit]

I would like to request that you add Carl-Fredrik Algernon (Swedish rear admiral) for KCVO. He was awarded by Her Majesty the Queen in 1983. I have not found any database online to use as a source, but I have the letter that was sent to Carl-Fredrik Algernon that informed him about his award, signed by Donald F. Murray, Ambassador in Sweden at the time. I also have the medals. This link contains an image of both letter and medals for proof. YahooEinstein (talk) 09:25, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Not done: I'm sorry but, illogical as it may seem, in these days of photoshopping, that is not considered a reliable source. If the information does not appear in a reliable source it will not be added. - Arjayay (talk) 19:03, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Alistair Cooke[edit]

Among the bewildering number of honorary knights listed, I could not find Alistair Cooke, the famed English-American man of letters and television host. He was made an honorary KBE in 1973. (Also, the American conductor, Georg Szell, was made an honorary CBE in 1963, which is admittedly one rank below a knighthood.)

Yes, Alistair Cooke is there. Nothing below a knighthood is listed. -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:46, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Shimon Peres[edit]

Please add him, I don't know how. His honorary knighthood is listed in his entry — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:53, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Edward Mann Lewis and Henry Balding Lewis[edit]

Please approve the additions I put in today - I have a letter from the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood confirming the awards and dates if you need to see itKevinakling (talk) 19:15, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Appreciate you have added them in good faith but I have tagged as them as needing a reliable reference, that is a published source rather than a personal letter. MilborneOne (talk) 19:24, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Will this reference work for EML? it's at the bottom... Pictures documenting the awards are on both of their wikipedia pages as well... Thanks! Kevinakling (talk) 23:40, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I added the National Archives (UK) link proving that General Henry Balding Lewis was awarded CBE, and now it's missing - what gives? If you would rather use his USMA memorial article as a reference it is here: (talk) 22:14, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

A CBE is not a knighthood so doesnt belong in the list. MilborneOne (talk) 09:23, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Gotcha - Thanks and have a great day! Kevinakling (talk) 13:01, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Paul McCartney[edit]

Sir James Paul McCartney's missing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:31, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Probably because he is not, as a British citizen, an honorary knight. MilborneOne (talk) 13:41, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Angelina Jolie?[edit]

Shouldn't she be on this list for receiving her CGMG in 2014?


2602:301:779A:FC0:FD4C:30F9:74B0:EE7A (talk) 02:00, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

She is! -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:17, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 September 2016[edit]

Sir Egbert Udo Udoma, Nigerian, was a Knight of the British Empire. (talk) 16:01, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

The award of a Knight Bachelor in 1964 as Chief Justice of Uganda (when his name was given as Ethelbert!) does not appear to have been an Honorary appointment. Unless you have a reliable reference it was an honorary award? we are probably best declining your request, thanks. MilborneOne (talk) 16:17, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 16 November 2016[edit]

Change Pelé's full name to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, not Edison (talk) 17:38, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

 Done Thanks for pointing that out - Arjayay (talk) 17:58, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Jean Monnet[edit]

Why isn't Jean Monnet in the list of those given an honorary knighthood? Surely he got one after the First World War ended for his work on shipping with Arthur Salter?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Percy Pavilion (talkcontribs) 11:50, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

According to his article Jean Monnet he was an Honorary Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour rather than a knighthood. MilborneOne (talk) 15:21, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
CH counts here as specified at the top of the article. But in answer to the original comment, Wikipedia is an ongoing work and articles don't just spring into existence fully-formed. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:20, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

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