UK Honours System


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Recognising exceptional achievement or service


The UK honours system is used to reward people for merit, service or bravery.

Honours are normally awarded twice a year. A list is published on The Queen's Birthday in June and at the New Year.

The British honours system is one of the oldest in the world. It has evolved over 650 years as the country has found alternative means of recognising merit, gallantry and service.

The Ceremonial Secretariat

The UK Honours System is managed by the Cabinet Office Ceremonial Secretariat.

The 'Ceremonial Branch' was created in 1937 with responsibility for honours policy work across government. It became known as the Ceremonial Secretariat in 2001.

The Secretariat is responsible for: