UK Honours System

Logo
|

Main navigation

Recognising exceptional achievement or service

Order of Wear

The order of wear shows the sequence in which orders, decorations and medals should be worn. Specific instructions on how to wear each award are included inside its case.

The document below was published in The London Gazette in March 2003:


Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood

St James's Palace, London SWI

17th March 2003

The following list shows the order in which Orders, Decorations and Medals should be worn in the United Kingdom, certain countries of the Commonwealth and in the Overseas Territories. It incorporates the Decorations and Medals instituted since 1983 and should be substituted for the list dated 28th October 1983. This list in no way affects the precedence conferred by the Statutes of certain Orders upon the Members thereof. See the notes towards the end of this list for guidance about letters after the name for those awards indicated with an asterisk.

Victoria Cross*

George Cross*

British Orders of Knighthood, Etc .

Order of the Garter* i
Order of the Thistle* i
Order of St Patrick* i
Order of the Bath*
Order of Merit* ii (immediately after Knights and Dames Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath)
Order of the Star of India*
Order of St Michael and St George*
Order of the Indian Empire*
Order of the Crown of India* iii
Royal Victorian Order (Classes I, II and III)*
Order of the British Empire (Classes I, II and III)* iv
Order of the Companions of Honour* ii (immediately after Knights and Dames Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire)
Distinguished Service Order*
Royal Victorian Order (Class IV)*
Order of the British Empire (Class IV)* iv
Imperial Service Order*
Royal Victorian Order (Class V)*
Order of the British Empire (Class V)* iv

Note: The above applies to those Orders of similar grades. When the miniature or riband of a higher grade of a junior Order is worn with that of a lower grade of a senior Order, the higher grade miniature or riband should come first, e.g., the miniature or riband of a K.B.E. will come before a C.B. and a G.C.M.G. will come before a K.C.B. The ribands of Orders, when the riband is worn alone, will be of the width of that of a Member of the Order. If there is no Fifth Class the riband will be of the width of that of a Companion of the Order.

[ Top ]

Baronet's Badge * (The Badge is worn suspended round the neck from the riband in the same manner as the Neck Badge of an Order. It takes precedence immediately after the Badge of the Order of Merit. It is not worn in miniature and the riband is not worn with Undress Uniform.)

Knight Bachelor's Badge (The Badge is worn suspended round the neck from the riband in the same manner as the Neck Badge of an Order. It takes precedence immediately after the Badge of a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.)

Indian Order of Merit (Military)* v

Decorations

Conspicuous Gallantry Cross*
Royal Red Cross (Class I)*
Distinguished Service Cross*
Military Cross*
Distinguished Flying Cross*
Air Force Cross*
Royal Red Cross (Class II)*
Order of British India*
Kaisar-i-Hind Medal
Order of St John

[ Top ]

Medals for Gallantry and Distinguished Conduct

Union of South Africa Queen's Medal for Bravery (Gold)
Distinguished Conduct Medal*
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal*
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying)*
George Medal*
Queen's Police Medal, for Gallantry*
Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Gallantry*
Royal West African Frontier Force Distinguished Conduct Medal*
King's African Rifles Distinguished Conduct Medal*
Indian Distinguished Service Medal*
Union of South Africa Queen's Medal for Bravery (Silver)
Distinguished Service Medal*
Military Medal*
Distinguished Flying Medal*
Air Force Medal*
Constabulary Medal (Ireland)
Medal for Saving Life at Sea (Sea Gallantry Medal)*
Indian Order of Merit (Civil)* v
Indian Police Medal for Gallantry
Ceylon Police Medal for Gallantry
Sierra Leone Police Medal for Gallantry
Sierra Leone Fire Brigades Medal for Gallantry
Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry*
Queen's Gallantry Medal*
Royal Victorian Medal (Gold, Silver and Bronze)*
British Empire Medal* vi
Canada Medal*
Queen's Police Medal, for Distinguished Service*
Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Distinguished Service*
Queen's Volunteer Reserves Medal*
Queen's Medal for Chiefs

Campaign Medals and Stars including authorised United Nations, European Community/Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation medals (in order of date of campaign for which awarded).

[ Top ]

Polar Medals (in order of date)

Imperial Service Medal

Police Medals for Valuable Service

Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service
Ceylon Police Medal for Merit
Sierra Leone Police Medal for Meritorious Service
Sierra Leone Fire Brigades Medal for Meritorious Service
Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious Service* vii

Badge of Honour

[ Top ]

Jubilee, Coronation and Durbar Medals

Queen Victoria's Jubilee Medal, 1887 (Gold, Silver and Bronze)
Queen Victoria's Police Jubilee Medal, 1887
Queen Victoria's Jubilee Medal, 1897 (Gold, Silver and Bronze)
Queen Victoria's Police Jubilee Medal, 1897
Queen Victoria's Commemoration Medal, 1900 (Ireland)
King Edward VII's Coronation Medal, 1902
King Edward VII's Police Coronation Medal, 1902
King Edward VII's Durbar Medal, 1903 (Gold, Silver and Bronze)
King Edward VII's Police Medal, 1903 (Scotland)
King's Visit Commemoration Medal, 1903 (Ireland)
King George V's Coronation Medal, 1911
King George V's Police Coronation Medal, 1911
King's Visit Commemoration Medal, 1911 (Ireland)
King George V's Durbar Medal, 1911 (Gold, viii Silver and Bronze)
King George V's Silver Jubilee Medal, 1935
King George VI's Coronation Medal, 1937
Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Medal, 1953
Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977
Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002
King George V's Long and Faithful Service Medal
King George VI's Long and Faithful Service Medal
Queen Elizabeth II's Long and Faithful Service Medal

[ Top ]

Efficiency and Long Service Decorations and Medals

Meritorious Service Medal
Accumulated Campaign Service Medal
Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military)
Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Medal for Meritorious Service (Royal Navy 1918-1928)*
Indian Long Service and Good Conduct Medal ix
Indian Meritorious Service Medal ix
Royal Marines Meritorious Service Medal (1849-1947)
Royal Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (1918-1928)
Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Ulster Defence Regiment)
Indian Long Service and Good Conduct Medal x
Royal West African Frontier Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Royal Sierra Leone Military Forces Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
King's African Rifles Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Indian Meritorious Service Medal x
Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
African Police Medal for Meritorious Service
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Long Service Medal
Ceylon Police Long Service Medal
Ceylon Fire Services Long Service Medal
Sierra Leone Police Long Service Medal
Colonial Police Long Service Medal
Sierra Leone Fire Brigades Long Service Medal
Mauritius Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Mauritius Fire Services Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Mauritius Prisons Service Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Colonial Fire Brigades Long Service Medal
Colonial Prison Service Medal
Hong Kong Disciplined Services Medal
Army Emergency Reserve Decoration*
Volunteer Officers' Decoration*
Volunteer Long Service Medal
Volunteer Officers' Decoration (for India and the Colonies)*
Volunteer Long Service Medal (for India and the Colonies)
Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration*
Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal
Medal for Good Shooting (Naval)
Militia Long Service Medal
Imperial Yeomanry Long Service Medal
Territorial Decoration*
Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal
Efficiency Decoration*
Territorial Efficiency Medal
Efficiency Medal
Special Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Reserve*
Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve*
Royal Naval Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Royal Fleet Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Royal Naval Wireless Auxiliary Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Royal Naval Auxiliary Service Medal
Air Efficiency Award*
Volunteer Reserves Service Medal
Ulster Defence Regiment Medal*
Northern Ireland Home Service Medal
Queen's Medal (for Champion Shots of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines)
Queen's Medal (for Champion Shots of the New Zealand Naval Forces)
Queen's Medal (for Champion Shots in the Military Forces)
Queen's Medal (for Champion Shots of the Air Forces)
Cadet Forces Medal
Coastguard Auxiliary Service Long Service Medal xi
Special Constabulary Long Service Medal
Canadian Forces Decoration*
Royal Observer Corps Medal
Civil Defence Long Service Medal
Ambulance Service (Emergency Duties) Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service Medal
Rhodesia Medal
Royal Ulster Constabulary Service Medal
Northern Ireland Prison Service Medal
Union of South Africa Commemoration Medal
Indian Independence Medal
Pakistan Medal
Ceylon Armed Services Inauguration Medal
Ceylon Police Independence Medal (1948)
Sierra Leone Independence Medal
Jamaica Independence Medal
Uganda Independence Medal
Malawi Independence Medal
Fiji Independence Medal
Papua New Guinea Independence Medal
Solomon Islands Independence Medal
Service Medal of the Order of St. John
Badge of the Order of the League of Mercy xii
Voluntary Medical Service Medal
Women's Royal Voluntary Service Medal
South African Medal for War Services
Colonial Special Constabulary Medal

[ Top ]

Honorary Membership of Commonwealth Orders xiii

Other Commonwealth Members' Orders, Decorations and Medals xiv

[ Top ]

Notes on Awards for Gallantry in the Order of the British Empire

Appointments to, or promotions in, the Order of the British Empire and awards of the British Empire Medal, granted between 6th December 1957 and 19th June 1974, for Gallantry, are so described, and a silver oak leaf Emblem is worn on the riband. When the riband only is worn the Emblem is worn in miniature. Classification of an award as made for Gallantry has no effect on seniority or precedence in the various Classes of the Order. A person appointed to the Order between 6th December 1957 and 19th June 1974, for Gallantry, and subsequently promoted in the Order, retains and wears the insignia of the lower Class with the Emblem in addition to the insignia of the higher Class whether promoted for Gallantry or otherwise. A holder of the British Empire Medal for Gallantry, granted between 6th December 1957 and 19th June 1974, if subsequently appointed to the Order, continues to wear the Emblem on the riband of the Medal. On the riband of the British Empire Medal for Gallantry, the Emblem is worn above any Bar which may have been granted, and when ribands are worn alone the Emblem is worn farther from the left shoulder than any silver rose Emblem denoting the award of a Bar.

Notes on Letters After the Name and Referenced Notes

All those Honours, Decorations and Medals marked with an asterisk (*) in the list above entitle the holder to use the appropriate letters after the name. These groups of letters should be shown in the same order as the order of wear, subject to the following exceptions:

(a) Baronet's Badge - the letters ' Bart ' or ' Bt. ' are shown directly after the surname before all other letters after the name.
(b) Meritorious Service Medal - the right to letters after the name applies only if it was awarded in the Royal Navy before 20th July 1928.
(c) Air Efficiency Award and Ulster Defence Regiment Medal - the right to letters after the name applies only when awarded to officers.

  1. These Orders are not worn in miniature and the ribands of the Orders are not worn with Undress Uniform.
  2. These Orders are not worn in miniature, but are worn round the neck on all occasions except with Service Dress and certain orders of Undress Uniform.
  3. This Order is not worn in miniature.
  4. See Note above on awards for Gallantry.
  5. The Indian Order of Merit (Military and Civil) is distinct from the Order of Merit instituted in 1902.
  6. Formerly the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service; also includes the Medal of the Order awarded before 29th December, 1922. See Note above on awards for Gallantry.
  7. Holders of this Medal who are subsequently awarded a Bar to the Medal for gallant conduct should wear the Medal and gallantry Bar, and the Meritorious Service riband with gallantry rose Emblem in the order assigned to the Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry.
  8. This Medal in Gold may be worn in the United Kingdom only by those who received it as Ruling Chiefs of India.
  9. For Europeans of the Indian Army.
  10. For the Indian Army.
  11. First known as the Rocket Apparatus Volunteer Long Service Medal and later as the Coast Life Saving Corps Long Service Medal.
  12. Only awards made prior to June 1947 when the League's Royal Charter was surrendered.
  13. Orders instituted by The Sovereign as Head of State of the Commonwealth Country are worn in date of award.
  14. Instituted since 1949, otherwise than by The Sovereign, and awards by the States of Malaysia and the State of Brunei, worn in date of award. These awards may only be worn when The Sovereign's permission has been given.

[ Top ]

Further Notes

Foreign Orders, Decorations and Medals

The general rule is that non-British insignia should be worn after all British Orders, decorations and medals and in the order of the dates on which they were conferred. When, however, insignia are being worn on occasions specifically connected with the donor country, pride of place should be given to the insignia of that country. Foreign awards may only be worn when The Sovereign's permission has been given.

Mentions in Despatches

1914-19: The Emblem of bronze oak leaves denoting a Mention in Despatches during the First World War, 1914 19, is worn on the riband of the Victory Medal. The award of this Emblem ceased from 10th August 1920.

1920-39: The single bronze oak leaf Emblem, if granted for service in operations between the two World Wars, is worn on the riband of the appropriate General Service Medal. If the General Service Medal has not been granted, the Emblem is worn directly on the coat after any Medal ribands.

1939-45: The single bronze oak leaf Emblem signifying in the Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy, either a Mention in Despatches, a King's Commendation for brave conduct or a King's Commendation for valuable service in the air, if granted for service in the Second World War, 1939-45, is worn on the riband of the War Medal 1939-1945. If the War Medal has not been granted, the Emblem is worn directly on the coat after any Medal ribands.

1945-93: The single bronze oak leaf Emblem, if granted for service in operations after the cessation of hostilities in the Second World War, is worn on the riband of the appropriate General Service or Campaign Medal. If such a Medal has not been granted, the Emblem is worn directly on the coat after any Medal ribands. The single bronze oak leaf Emblem is also used in the Armed Forces to denote a King's or Queen's Commendation for brave conduct or a King's or Queen's Commendation for valuable service in the air granted since the cessation of hostilities in the Second World War.

Since 1993 The single silver oak leaf Emblem for gallantry in active operations from 3rd September 1993, if awarded for services in a theatre for which a campaign medal or a clasp has been granted, is worn on the riband of the appropriate medal. If the award is made for services out of theatre or in a theatre for which no campaign medal or clasp has been granted the Emblem is to be worn directly on the coat after any Medal ribands.

[ Top ]

King's Commendations and Queen's Commendations

King's Commendation for Brave Conduct (1939-52); Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct (1952-94)

The Emblem of silver laurel leaves granted to civilians, other than those in the Merchant Navy, to denote a King's Commendation for brave conduct during the Second World War, 1939-45, is worn on the riband of the Defence Medal. When the Defence Medal has not been granted or the award is for services subsequent to the war, the Emblem is worn directly on the coat after any Medal ribands.

Queen's Commendation for Bravery (1994 and subsequently)

The Emblem of silver laurel leaves granted to a civilian is worn directly on the coat after any Medal ribands. When the Emblem is granted to Armed Forces personnel it should be worn in a similar manner to that described above for Mentions in Despatches (1993 and subsequently).

King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air (1939-52); Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air (1952-94)

The silver badge granted to denote a civil King's Commendation or Queen's Commendation for valuable service in the air is worn on the coat immediately below any Medals or Medal ribands. In civil air line uniform the badge is worn on the panel of the left breast pocket.

Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air (1994 and subsequently)

The silver eagle Emblem granted to civilians is worn directly on the coat after any Medal ribands. When the Emblem is granted to Armed Forces personnel it should be worn in a similar manner to that described above for Mentions in Despatches (1993 and subsequently).

Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service (1993 and subsequently)

The Emblem of silver oak leaves should be worn in a similar manner to that described above for Mentions on Despatches (1993 and subsequently).

If there are no Medal ribands, the Emblem is worn in the position in which a single riband would be worn.

[ Top ]