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Order of the Companions of Honour

Template:Infobox order

File:Btweedsmuir2.jpg
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 by King George V in June 1917, 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 of the order

The order consists of the Sovereign, plus no more than 65 Companions of Honour. Additionally, foreigners from outside the realms may be added as honorary members. Membership of the order confers no title, or precedence, but recipients of this one-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters CH. Appointments can be made on the advice of Commonwealth 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 it was enlarged to 65 in 1943 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.[3]

Appearance

The insignia of the order is in the form of an oval medallion with 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 badge's clear blue border bears 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) in gold letters, and the oval is surmounted by an imperial crown. Men wear the badge on a ribbon (red with golden border threads) around their necks, and women on a bow at the left shoulder.

Current Companions

Member Number[n 1] Name Post-Nominals Known for Date of appointment Age
1 (237) 23x15px Sir Michael Somare GCLGCMGCHPCMP Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea 3 June 1978 79
2 (238) 23x15px The Lord Healey CHMBEPC Politician 12 June 1979 98
3 (246) 23x15px Doug Anthony ACCHPC Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 31 December 1981 86
4 (249) 23x15px The Lord Carrington KGGCMGCHMCPCDL Politician 11 June 1983 96
5 (265) 23x15px Sydney Brenner CH Biologist 31 December 1986 89
6 (267) 23x15px The Lord Tebbit CHPC Politician 31 July 1987 84
7 (269) 23x15px Stephen Hawking CHCBEFRS, FRSA Physicist 17 June 1989 74
8 (270) 23x15px The Lord Baker of Dorking CHPC Politician 13 April 1992 81
9 (271) 23x15px The Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville CHPC Politician 13 April 1992 81
10 (278) 23x15px The Lord King of Bridgwater CHPC Politician 13 April 1992 82
11 (282) 23x15px Dame Janet Baker CHDBE Opera singer 31 December 1993 82
12 (287) 23x15px The Lord Owen CHPC Politician 11 June 1994 77
13 (289) 23x15px Sir David Attenborough OMCHCVOCBE Broadcaster and naturalist 30 December 1995 89
14 (291) 23x15px The Lord Hurd of Westwell CHCBEPC Politician 30 December 1995 85
15 (293) 23x15px The Lord Howe of Aberavon CHQCPC Politician 15 June 1996 89
16 (294) 23x15px David Hockney OMCH Artist 14 June 1997 78
17 (296) 23x15px The Lord Heseltine CHPC Politician 2 August 1997 82
18 (297) 23x15px The Lord Patten of Barnes CHPC Politician and former Governor of Hong Kong 31 December 1997 71
19 (298) 23x15px Peter Brook CHCBE Theatre director 13 June 1998 90
20 (299) 23x15px Sir John Major KGCHPC Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 31 December 1998 72
21 (300) 23x15px Bridget Riley CHCBE Artist 31 December 1998 84
22 (305) 23x15px John de Chastelain CCCHCMM Canadian general and diplomat 31 December 1998 78
23 (311) 23x15px Sir Harrison Birtwistle CH Composer 30 December 2000 81
24 (312) 23x15px Sir Michael Howard OMCHCBEMCFBA Historian 15 June 2002 93
25 (313) 23x15px Sir Howard Hodgkin CHCBE Artist 31 December 2002 83
26 (316) 23x15px James Lovelock CHCBEFRS Scientist and environmentalist 31 December 2002 96
27 (317) 23x15px Dan McKenzie CHFRS Geophysicist 14 June 2003 73
28 (318) 23x15px The Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMGCH Diplomat 14 June 2003 70
29 (320) 23x15px Dame Judi Dench CHDBE Actress 11 June 2005 81
30 (321) 23x15px Sir Ian McKellen CHCBE Actor 31 December 2007 76
31 (322) 23x15px The Lord Rogers of Riverside CH Architect 14 June 2008 82
32 (323) 23x15px The Lord Howard of Lympne CHQCPC Politician 11 June 2011 74
33 (324) 23x15px Sir George Young BtCHPCMP Politician 20 September 2012 74
34 (325) 23x15px The Lord Coe CHKBE Athlete, politician, organiser of 2012 Olympics 29 December 2012 59
35 (326) 23x15px Peter Higgs CHFRS Physicist 29 December 2012 86
36 (327) 23x15px The Lord Strathclyde CHPC Politician 7 January 2013 55
37 (328) 23x15px Sir Menzies Campbell CHCBEQCPCMP Politician 15 June 2013 74
38 (329) 23x15px Sir Nicholas Serota CH Museum curator 15 June 2013 69
39 (330) 23x15px Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CHCBE Composer 31 December 2013 81
40 (331) 23x15px The Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve CHCBEFBAFRS Philosopher 31 December 2013 74
41 (332) 23x15px Dame Maggie Smith CHDBE Actress 14 June 2014 81
42 (333) 23x15px Kenneth Clarke CHQCPCMP Politician 22 July 2014 75
43 (334) 23x15px The Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMGCHKBEPC Politician 1 January 2015 74
44 (335) 23x15px Sir Adrian Cadbury CHDL Businessman 1 January 2015 86
45 (336) 23x15px Dame Mary Peters CHDBE Athlete 1 January 2015 76
46 (337) 23x15px The Lord Young of Graffham CHPCDL Politician 1 January 2015 83
Honorary Companions
Member Number Name Post-Nominals Known for Date of appointment Age
1 (261) Template:Country data India Amartya Sen CH Economist 11 May 2000 82
2 (304) 23x15px Bernard Haitink CHKBE Conductor 12 June 2002 86

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The number shown in brackets is the individual's place in the wider sequence of appointment since the Order's inception.

References

  1. ^ a b "The Monarchy Today > Queen and 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.