Bliss Jamerson

Bliss Jamerson

Modified & Updated: 24 Jan 2024


The Queen’s Birthday Honours is an annual event that recognizes and celebrates outstanding individuals from various walks of life who have made significant contributions to their communities or fields of expertise. Established in 1860 by Queen Victoria, this tradition continues to this day, with the honours being awarded on the occasion of the reigning monarch’s birthday in early June. These honours take the form of knighthoods, damehoods, and other prestigious titles, as well as lesser-known awards such as the Order of the British Empire and the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.

In this article, we will delve into 15 fascinating facts about the Queen’s Birthday Honours. From the history and selection process to notable recipients and the impact of the honours, we will uncover the inner workings of this esteemed recognition. So, let’s dive in and explore the rich tapestry of individuals who have been honored for their exceptional contributions to society.

Table of Contents

Origin of the Honours

The tradition of Queen’s Birthday Honours dates back to 1860 when it was first established by Queen Victoria as a way to recognize outstanding service to the British Empire.

Birthday versus Official Birthday

The Queen’s Birthday Honours are actually awarded on the Queen’s Official Birthday, which is typically celebrated on the second Saturday in June.

The Honours List

Each year, a list is compiled consisting of individuals who are recommended for recognition. This list is known as the Honours List and is published prior to the Queen’s Official Birthday.

Types of Honours

There are various types of honours that can be bestowed, including knighthoods, damehoods, CBEs (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), OBEs (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), MBEs (Member of the Order of the British Empire), and more.

Nominating Process

Anyone can nominate an individual for a Queen’s Birthday Honour. Nominations go through a rigorous vetting process and are reviewed by different committees before a final decision is made.

Recognition of Achievement

Queen’s Birthday Honours recognize a wide range of achievements and contributions, including those made in public service, arts and entertainment, sports, science, business, and philanthropy.

The Queen’s Approval

Before the honours are officially awarded, the list must be approved by the Queen herself. She has the final say on who will receive the honours.

Honours for Non-British Citizens

Queen’s Birthday Honours are not limited to British citizens. Individuals from other countries can also be recognized for their significant contributions to the United Kingdom or its citizens.

Honorary Awards

In some cases, honorary awards are given to individuals who are not British citizens but have made a substantial impact in their respective fields.

Recognition for Military Service

Many members of the armed forces are honored with Queen’s Birthday Honours for their bravery, dedication, and outstanding service to the nation.

Diversity in Honours

The Queen’s Birthday Honours strive to reflect the diversity of British society. Efforts are made to ensure that individuals from all walks of life are recognized for their contributions.

The Honours Symbol

Recipients of the honours are presented with a symbolic medal, insignia, or certificate, depending on the type of honour they receive. These symbols represent their achievement and contribution.


The honours are usually presented to the recipients during investiture ceremonies, where they are officially bestowed with their titles and insignia by a member of the royal family or another dignitary.

Notable Honourees

Over the years, numerous notable individuals have been honored with Queen’s Birthday Honours, including actors, musicians, scientists, politicians, athletes, and humanitarians.

Inspiring Others

Queen’s Birthday Honours not only recognize individual achievements but also inspire others to make a positive difference in their communities and strive for excellence.

Overall, Queen’s Birthday Honours represent a time-honored tradition of celebrating extraordinary contributions to society and serve as a motivation for others to go above and beyond.


Queen’s Birthday Honours is a prestigious event that recognizes and celebrates the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals across various fields. These honours, awarded by the reigning monarch, are a symbol of distinction and serve as a testament to the recipients’ dedication and excellence.

From famous personalities to everyday heroes, the Queen’s Birthday Honours recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to areas such as public service, arts and culture, science and technology, sports, and philanthropy. It is a way to acknowledge their exceptional efforts and commitment to making a positive impact on society.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours inspire and motivate people to strive for excellence and contribute to the betterment of society. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of recognizing and appreciating the remarkable achievements of individuals who have made a difference in their respective fields.


1. What is the Queen’s Birthday Honours?

The Queen’s Birthday Honours is an annual event where individuals are recognized and celebrated for their outstanding achievements and contributions in various fields.

2. Who selects the recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours?

The recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours are selected by a panel of experts in different fields, followed by a rigorous evaluation process.

3. What types of honours are awarded during the Queen’s Birthday Honours?

The honours awarded during the Queen’s Birthday Honours include knighthoods, damehoods, OBEs (Order of the British Empire), MBEs (Member of the British Empire), and other prestigious titles.

4. Can anyone nominate someone for the Queen’s Birthday Honours?

Yes, anyone can nominate someone for the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The nomination process involves providing detailed information about the nominee’s achievements and contributions.

5. How are the recipients notified about their honours?

The recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours are notified through a confidential letter, followed by an official announcement on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

6. Can the recipients use their honours as a title?

Yes, the recipients of knighthoods and damehoods can use their honours as titles. For example, Sir John Smith or Dame Jane Doe.

7. How does the Queen’s Birthday Honours impact society?

The Queen’s Birthday Honours inspire and motivate individuals to excel in their respective fields. It also raises awareness about the importance of recognizing and celebrating outstanding achievements, ultimately contributing to the betterment of society as a whole.