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Order of the British Empire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most Excellent
Order of the British Empire
CBEwithMilitaryRibbon.jpg
Neck decoration (in Military Div.)
Awarded by the sovereign of the United Kingdom
Type Order of chivalry
Established 1917
Motto For God and the Empire
Eligibility British nationals, or anyone who has made a significant achievement for the United Kingdom
Awarded for Prominent national or regional achievements[1]
Status Currently constituted
Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II
Grand Master Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Grades Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE)
Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE)
Commander (CBE)
Officer (OBE)
Member (MBE)
Former grades Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry
Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service
Precedence
Next (higher) Royal Victorian Order
Next (lower) Varies, depending on rank
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png

Military ribbon
Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png

Civil ribbon
 MBE as awarded in 1918
MBE as awarded in 1918
 Grand Cross star of the Order of the British Empire
Grand Cross star of the Order of the British Empire
 Close-up of an MBE from 1945 showing the "For God and the Empire"
Close-up of an MBE from 1945 showing the "For God and the Empire"
 Lieutenant General Sir Robert Fulton, KBE
Lieutenant General Sir Robert Fulton, KBE

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the Civil Service.[2] It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V, and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male, or dame if female.[3] There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were at first made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British (Imperial) honours. Most Commonwealth countries such India, Pakistan and Nigeria ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours. Some countries, such as Canada, was still recommending Order of the British Empire gallantry awards awarded fifteen months after the creation of the Order of Canada and Australia which continued to recommend both Order of the British Empire meritorious and gallantry awards for 15 years after the creation of the Order of Australia.

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Transcription

Cody: The British Empire was the largest empire of all time. In just 2 centuries, it went from a small island to the sole superpower on Earth. Its language eventually becoming the 3rd most spoken today. The empire has been so influential, that the modern world would be unrecognizable without it. That...is an interesting concept. What if the British Empire never existed? Say, for some reason, none of this is ever colonized by the Brits. The most they EVER controlled is their tiny island. In this video, I'll try to craft one scenario. Theorizing about what I believe could've happened. This scenario will be an alternate timeline, one that diverges from a point in our own history. This time would need to be before the Act of Union, the creation of the United Kingdom. Because the English and Scots had some overseas colonies in North America, even before there was a British empire. So, in this alternate timeline, there are never any overseas territories from Scotland or England. There can be many reasons why the British don't create colonies. Maybe the attempted efforts failed horrendously. Every venture created simply ends up like Roanoke. Colonies become too much of a risk. Simply put, for whatever reason, the British empire doesn't exist. So... What happens? In this scenario, we see a main cast of other empires to fill in the space instead. Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, and France, at least in the 17th century, are the main powers. Now, this is the key point. Since the British don't rise, it's only logical that their rival would simply take their place instead. Yes, that's right. Get out your croissants and dust off that tricolor. In a world without the British empire... ...France is a global superpower. Shocking, I know. This alternate world is HEAVILY influenced by the French. Brits and Germans just cry out in sheer terror. There are many reasons why France, and say not Spain or Portugal, who also had their own empires, would be the strongest instead. France had a colonial empire just like the 2, but it was able to adapt and consistently remain prominent. Smart economic policy kept it alive, while Spain, on the other hand, died from silver inflation, and Portugal simply couldn't maintain its own empire. France was the birthplace of Mercantilism, and it used this philisophy when it expanded into The New World, founding its own dominion on North America, called New France. By the 16th century, North America was a continent of open potential- (if you don't count the native Americans). Since the British don't settle the land, and the 13 colonies don't exist, everything east of the Mississipi is completely open to France. Except for New Amsterdam, but they aren't much of a threat. By the alternate 17th century, the continent and its natives are divided between two European zones: New Spain (yellow) and New France (purple). Spain's power was much like a candle: it burned hot, and then faded very fast. The Spanish rose and fell without the British, primarily because they weren't very good with economics. Good thing they got that fixed. The Spanish's wealth was from the silver mines of South America, but this was destroyed because of silver inflation. Spain's fate isn't too far different in this alternate timeline, and their fate isn't too important to talk about. I'm just saying that you shouldn't worry about them. If there was a competition between the French and Spanish in North America, there would be an obvious winner: France. When looking at New France, its size is vast. But it's also pretty misleading. The French never had a population like the British did in North America, and they didn't even have colonists in most of the region. Settlement was in tiny forts, primarily around the Great Lakes and rivers. These were centers to maintain trading routes and friendly alliances. The French don't ever care to take the Native American land. It benefits them to make allies and friendships instead of conquering them. Now, the French didn't spare the natives out of the goodness of their own heart. They didn't need a farming colony in Virginia, like the British did. They already had their own gold mine, in Haiti. But the one thing that North America had that Haiti didn't was fur, primarily beaver fur. And the people that knew where to find the beavers were the Native Americans. And so, a trade relationship was born. Over time, the trade relationships grew into political friendships. The system of being under French trade is beneficial to Native Americans, since they don't get kicked out. But when you have numerous tribes competing over limited resources, like fur, it can lead to violence. In this alternate timeline, there are large wars between tribes fighting for hunting grounds. The tribes that win these conflicts become the strongest, and some band together to form alliances. Over centuries, New France is a very multi-ethnic colony. Enclaves of French colonists populate small towns and forts on the St. Lawrence river, Great Lakes, Louisiana, and Eastern Coast. These become very similar to the Quebec of today. The majority of the population remains Native American, divided into tribes and alliances under the New France realm. The natives have begun to recover from the massive population loss, from smallpox, generations ago. As the natives aren't deported by the 18th-19th centuries, that means tribes have had interactions with the French for a few hundred years. I think by this time, a few questions would start to be asked. Are the French partners, or rulers of the natives? Does New France have control over the tribes? Do tribes have the same rights in New France? In our timeline, New France never got populated enough for these ideas to be relevant. But, as population grows, and interaction extends farther than just trade, these questions would have to be answered. Conflicts could easily occur. A weak New France could die under tribal conflict. North America might easily become a poverty-stricken region if these questions aren't answered soon enough, and tribal conflicts aren't prevented. North America would be seen by Europe like we see sub-Saharan Africa today. France was not a bastion of tolerance centuries ago, either. They aren't even tolerant to other Europeans. So as both groups, Native Americans and French, begin to craft a society together, things could get ugly. Until those problems arrive, France would use this wealth from North America to bring itself about as a global power. Unsuprisingly, also using this wealth to fund alternate wars, probably against Britain as well. France remains the prominent power in a world without the British Empire. The French culture and Catholicism are a common trait across the globe. What this also affects is religion. As the British don't create the U.S, Protestantism is not spread as far. The French and the Spanish, however, are left to spread Catholicism as far as they want. Catholicism (if missionaries were successful) far outpopulates Protestantism, which simply remains an enclave in Northern Europe. French becomes the international language of commerce, as France controls the trade throughout much of the world. But wait a second... Ironically, for a video talking about the British, why did I spend most of the time talking about the French? For the last few centuries, the rivalry between these 2 people has been a determining factor on world history. Had one failed colonially, the other one would've succeeded. This was the common theme...at least until the last century. And in our timeline, Britain was the cultural victor. In this scenario, English NEVER becomes a popular language without this empire. This "English" language is simply restricted to one small island off the coast of Europe. The greatest change of all is for Britain itself. They'd be COMPLETELY at the whim of their rival. The British could never challenge the French, who would use their colonial power to dominate the island. Ironically, in the biggest twist of fate, the only way to stop themselves from being conquered was to conquer others. Even though today, they seem to be close allies, these 2 countries affected each other's legacy in the world. It only makes sense, had one side never even been in competition in the first place, that the other would spread its influence and culture, after all. One of the most influential factors making this video was the idea that only 200 years ago, where I was born, Ohio, was considered foreign land. But over generations, people settled, my ancestors migrated here, and eventually led to me. Had Britain never created their empire, I unsurprisingly wouldn't exist. This video was sponsored by AncestryDNA. AncestryDNA is a service that uses your genetics to determine where you ancestors came from. It is a quick, easy test that is sent to you through the mail. Months ago, I took this test. And I was sent this box in the mail. All I had to do was spit in this tube, seal it up, and send it back in. Then, in a matter of weeks, I got my results back from my DNA test. You can do this to, by clicking in the link in the description. www.ancestry.com/althistory Anyway, the service showed that my ancestry was roughly 40% British. If you're curious about the rest, it was 29% Scandinavian, 20% Irish, 7% Italian, and then a mix of some western European and 2% Jewish. And now, there is even a feature that allows you to see how long your ancestors may have been on America. (If you're American). For me, it's likely a possibility that my ancestors have been here since before the Revolution, on the future Ohio border in Appalachia. So, in the period of 300 years, we moved... 1 state. Like I said, it's very easy to do. Order your kit, return a small saliva sample, and then Ancestry will analyze your DNA. Wait around, and you'll get your results in 6-8 weeks. The test is $99, but if you use this url, www.ancestry.com/althistory, or click on the link in the description, you'll actually get 10% off. When you do get your results, let me know in the comments, or by tweeting #MyAncestry. This is Cody...of AlternateHistoryHub. *outro music*

Contents

Current classes

The five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence:

  1. Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE)[a]
  2. Knight Commander or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE or DBE)
  3. Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  4. Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  5. Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Styles and honorary knighthoods

The senior two ranks of Knight or Dame Grand Cross, and Knight or Dame Commander, entitle their members to use the title of Sir for men and Dame for women before their forename. Most members are citizens of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth realms that use the Imperial system of honours and awards.

Honorary knighthoods are appointed to citizens of nations where the Queen is not head of state, and may permit use of post-nominal letters but not the title of Sir or Dame. Occasionally, honorary appointees are, incorrectly, referred to as Sir or Dame – Bob Geldof, for example. Honorary appointees who later become a citizen of a Commonwealth realm can convert their appointment from honorary to substantive, then enjoy all privileges of membership of the order, including use of the title of Sir and Dame for the senior two ranks of the Order. An example is Irish broadcaster Terry Wogan, who was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order in 2005, and on successful application for British citizenship, held alongside his Irish citizenship, was made a substantive member and subsequently styled as Sir Terry Wogan.[4][5]

History

King George V founded the Order to fill gaps in the British honours system:

In particular, King George V wished to create an Order to honour many thousands of those who had served in a variety of non-combatant roles during the First World War. When first established, the Order had only one division. However, in 1918, soon after its foundation, it was formally divided into Military and Civil Divisions.[6] The Order's motto is For God and the Empire.[2]

At the foundation of the Order, the 'Medal of the Order of the British Empire' was instituted, to serve as a lower award granting recipients affiliation but not membership. In 1922, this was renamed the 'British Empire Medal' (BEM). It stopped being awarded by the United Kingdom as part of the 1993 reforms to the honours system, but was again awarded beginning in 2012, starting with 293 BEMs awarded for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.[7] In addition, the BEM is awarded by the Cook Islands and by some other Commonwealth nations. In 2004, a report entitled "A Matter of Honour: Reforming Our Honours System" by a Commons committee recommended to phase out the Order of the British Empire, as its title was "now considered to be unacceptable, being thought to embody values that are no longer shared by many of the country's population".[8]

Composition

The British monarch is Sovereign of the Order, and appoints all other members of the Order (by convention, on the advice of the governments of the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth realms). The next most senior member is the Grand Master, of whom there have been three: Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales (1917–1936); Queen Mary (1936–1953); and the current Grand Master, the Duke of Edinburgh (since 1953).

The Order is limited to 300 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 845 Knights and Dames Commander, and 8,960 Commanders. There are no limits applied to the total number of members of the fourth and fifth classes, but no more than 858 Officers and 1,464 Members may be appointed per year. Foreign appointees, as honorary members, do not contribute to the numbers restricted to the Order as full members do. Although the Order of the British Empire has by far the highest number of members of the British Orders of Chivalry, with over 100,000 living members worldwide, there are fewer appointments to knighthoods than in other orders.[2]

Though men can be knighted separately from an order of chivalry, women cannot, and so the rank of Knight/Dame Commander of the Order is the lowest rank of damehood, and second-lowest of knighthood (above Knights Bachelor). Because of this, an appointment as Dame Commander is made in circumstances in which a man would be created a Knight Bachelor. For example, by convention, female judges of the High Court of Justice are created Dames Commander after appointment, while male judges become Knights Bachelor.

The Order has six officials: the Prelate; the Dean; the Secretary; the Registrar; the King of Arms; and the Usher. The Bishop of London, a senior bishop in the Church of England, serves as the Order's Prelate. The Dean of St Paul's is ex officio the Dean of the Order. The Order's King of Arms is not a member of the College of Arms, as are many other heraldic officers. The Usher of the Order is known as the Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod; he does not – unlike his Order of the Garter equivalent, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod – perform any duties related to the House of Lords.

From time to time, individuals are appointed to a higher grade within the Order, thereby ceasing usage of the junior post-nominal letters.

Gallantry

From 1940, the Sovereign could appoint a person as a Commander, Officer or Member of the Order of the British Empire for gallantry for acts of bravery (not in the face of the enemy) below the level required for the George Medal. The grade was determined by the same criteria as usual, and not by the level of gallantry (and with more junior people instead receiving the British Empire Medal). Oddly, this meant that it was awarded for lesser acts of gallantry than the George Medal, but, as an Order, was worn before it and listed before it in post-nominal initials. From 14 January 1958, these awards were designated the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry.[9]

Any individual made a member of the Order for gallantry could wear an emblem of two crossed silver oak leaves on the same riband, ribbon or bow as the badge. It could not be awarded posthumously, and was effectively replaced in 1974 with the Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM). If recipients of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry received promotion within the Order, whether for gallantry or otherwise, they continued to wear also the insignia of the lower grade with the oak leaves.[10] However, they only used the post-nominal letters of the higher grade.

Vestments and accoutrements

Members of the Order wear elaborate vestments on important occasions (such as quadrennial services and coronations), which vary by rank (the designs underwent major changes in 1937):

  • The mantle, worn by only Knights and Dames Grand Cross, was originally made of yellow satin lined with blue silk, but is now made of rose pink satin lined with pearl-grey silk. On the left side is a representation of the star (see below).
  • The collar, also worn by only Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of gold. It consists of six medallions depicting the Royal Arms, alternating with six medallions depicting the Royal and Imperial Cypher of George V (GRI, which stands for "Georgius Rex Imperator"). The medallions are linked with gold cables depicting lions and crowns.
Order of the British Empire Insignia.jpg

On certain "collar days" designated by the Sovereign, members attending formal events may wear the Order's collar over their military uniform, formal day dress, or evening wear. When collars are worn (either on collar days or on formal occasions such as coronations), the badge is suspended from the collar. Collars are returned upon the death of their owners, but other insignia may be retained.

At less important occasions, simpler insignia are used:

  • The star is an eight-pointed silver star used by only Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commander. It is worn pinned to the left breast. Varying in size depending on class, it bears a crimson ring with the motto of the Order inscribed. Within the ring, a figure of Britannia was originally shown. Since 1937, however, the effigies of George V and Mary of Teck have been shown instead.
  • The badge is the only insignia used by all members of the Order. Until 1937, it was suspended on a purple ribbon, with a red central stripe for the military division; since then, the ribbon has been rose-pink with pearl-grey edges, with the addition of a pearl-grey central stripe for the military division. Knights and Dames Grand Cross wear it on a riband or sash, passing from the right shoulder to the left hip. Knights Commander and male Commanders wear the badge from a ribbon around the neck; male Officers and Members wear the badge from a ribbon on the left chest; all females other than Dames Grand Cross wear it from a bow on the left shoulder. The badge is in the form of a cross patonce (having the arms growing broader and floriated toward the end), the obverse of which bears the same field as the star (that is, either Britannia or George V and Queen Mary); the reverse bears George V's Royal and Imperial Cypher. Both are within a ring bearing the motto of the Order. The size of the badges varies according to rank: the higher classes have slightly larger badges. The badges of Knights and Dames Grand Cross, Knights and Dames Commander and Commanders are enamelled with pale blue crosses and crimson rings; those of Officers are plain gold; those of Members are plain silver.
  • The British Empire Medal is made of silver. On the obverse is an image of Britannia surrounded by the motto, with the words "For Meritorious Service" at the bottom; on the reverse is George V's Imperial and Royal Cypher, with the words "Instituted by King George V" at the bottom. The name of the recipient is engraved on the rim. This medal is nicknamed 'the Gong', and comes in both a full-sized and miniature versions – the latter for formal white-tie and informal black-tie occasions.
  • A lapel pin for everyday wear was first announced at the end of December 2006, and is available to recipients of all levels of the Order, as well as to holders of the British Empire Medal. The pin design is not unique to any level. The pin features the badge of the Order, enclosed in a circle of ribbon of its colours of pink and grey. Lapel pins must be purchased separately by a member of the Order.[11] The creation of such a pin was recommended in Sir Hayden Phillips' review of the honours system in 2004.[12]
Order of the British Empire ribbon bars
Civil Military
1917–1935
Since 1936

Chapel

 Chapel of the Order in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral
Chapel of the Order in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral

The chapel of the Order is in the far eastern end of the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, but it holds its great services upstairs in the main body of the Cathedral. (The Cathedral also serves as the home of the chapel of The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George.) Religious services for the whole Order are held every four years; new Knights and Dames Grand Cross are installed at these services. The chapel was dedicated in 1960.

Precedence and privileges

 Knights, Dames and Commanders may display the circlet of the Order on the coat of arms, with the badge of the Order suspended from it.[b]
Knights, Dames and Commanders may display the circlet of the Order on the coat of arms, with the badge of the Order suspended from it.[b]

Knights Grand Cross and Knights Commander prefix Sir, and Dames Grand Cross and Dames Commander prefix Dame, to their forenames.[c] Wives of Knights may prefix Lady to their surnames, but no equivalent privilege exists for husbands of Knights or spouses of Dames. Such forms are not used by peers and princes, except when the names of the former are written out in their fullest forms. Clergy of the Church of England or the Church of Scotland do not use the title Sir or Dame as they do not receive the accolade (i.e., they are not dubbed "knight" with a sword), although they do append the post-nominal letters.

Knights and Dames Grand Cross use the post-nominal, GBE; Knights Commander, KBE; Dames Commander, DBE; Commanders, CBE; Officers, OBE; and Members, MBE. The post-nominal for the British Empire Medal is BEM.

Members of all classes of the Order are assigned positions in the order of precedence. Wives of male members of all classes also feature on the order of precedence, as do sons, daughters and daughters-in-law of Knights Grand Cross and Knights Commander; relatives of Ladies of the Order, however, are not assigned any special precedence. As a general rule, individuals can derive precedence from their fathers or husbands, but not from their mothers or wives (see order of precedence in England and Wales for the exact positions).

Knights and Dames Grand Cross are also entitled to be granted heraldic supporters. They may, furthermore, encircle their arms with a depiction of the circlet (a circle bearing the motto) and the collar; the former is shown either outside or on top of the latter. Knights and Dames Commander and Commanders may display the circlet, but not the collar, surrounding their arms. The badge is depicted suspended from the collar or circlet.

Current Knights and Dames Grand Cross

Knights and Dames Grand Cross

Military ranks listed denotes the awarded being in the military division.

Military rank Name Post-nominals Year appointed
Admiral of the Fleet The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM ONZ GBE AK QSO GCL CC CMM PC CD ADC(P) 1953
Air Chief Marshal United Kingdom Sir Peter Le Cheminant GBE KCB DFC* 1978
General United Kingdom Sir Hugh Beach GBE KCB MC 1985
General United Kingdom Sir Frank Kitson GBE KCB MC* DL 1985
Hong Kong Sir Sze Yuen Chung GBE GBM 1989
New Zealand Sir Thomas Eichelbaum GBE PC QC 1989
Air Chief Marshal United Kingdom Sir David Harcourt-Smith GBE KCB DFC 1989
Field Marshal United Kingdom The Lord Vincent of Coleshill GBE KCB DSO 1990
United Kingdom Sir Alexander Graham GBE 1990
Air Chief Marshal United Kingdom Sir Patrick Hine GCB GBE 1991
United Kingdom Sir Brian Jenkins GBE 1991
United Kingdom Sir Francis McWilliams GBE 1992
Air Chief Marshal United Kingdom Sir Anthony Skingsley GBE KCB 1992
Admiral United Kingdom Sir Kenneth Eaton GBE KCB 1994
Air Chief Marshal United Kingdom Sir Bill Wratten GBE CB AFC 1998
United Kingdom The Lord Rothschild Bt OM GBE 1998
United Kingdom Sir Stephen Brown GBE 1999
Air Chief Marshal United Kingdom Sir Anthony Bagnall GBE KCB 2002
United Kingdom Sir Michael Sydney Perry GBE 2002
United Kingdom Sir Ronnie Flanagan GBE QPM 2002
United Kingdom Sir Cyril Taylor GBE 2004
United Kingdom The Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE PC 2005
United Kingdom Sir David Cooksey GBE 2007
General United Kingdom Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman GBE KCB 2011
United Kingdom The Lord King of Lothbury KG GBE 2011
United Kingdom The Earl of Selborne GBE DL 2011
United Kingdom Sir John Parker GBE 2012
United Kingdom The Baroness Hayman GBE PC 2012
United Kingdom Sir Keith Mills GBE DL 2013
United Kingdom Sir Alan Budd GBE 2013
Canada Sir John Bell GBE FRS 2015
Air Chief Marshal United Kingdom Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL 2016
United Kingdom Sir Ian Wood GBE 2016
United Kingdom Sir Cyril Chantler GBE 2017
United Kingdom Sir Michael Rawlins GBE 2017
United Kingdom Sir David Weatherall GBE FRS 2017

Honorary

Name Post-nominal Country Year appointed
United States George J. Mitchell GBE United States 1999
India Ratan Tata GBE India 2014

Recommendations by Commonwealth countries

Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire continue to be made by some Commonwealth realms. In 2016, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu all included Order of the British Empire awards in their New Year and/or Queen's Birthday honours lists.[13][14] Since the Second World War, most Commonwealth realms have established their own national system of honours and awards and have created their own unique orders, decorations and medals. Canada seldom made recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire except for the Second World War and Korea but continued to recommend gallantry awards for both military and civilians until after the creation of the Order of Canada.[15] Australia continued to recommend the Order of the British Empire until the 1989 Queen's Birthday Honours, nearly 15 years after the creation of the Order of Australia.[16]

Criticism

The Order has attracted some criticism for its naming having connection with the idea of the now-extinct British Empire.[17] Benjamin Zephaniah, a British Jamaican poet, publicly rejected appointment as an Officer in 2003 because, he asserted, it reminded him of "thousands of years of brutality". He also said that "It reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised".[18]

In 2004, a House of Commons Select Committee recommended changing the name of the award to the Order of British Excellence, and changing the rank of Commander to Companion; as the former was said to have a "militaristic ring".[17][19]

A notable person to decline the offer of membership was the author C. S. Lewis (1898–1963), who had been named on the last list of honours by George VI in December 1951. Despite being a monarchist, he declined so as to avoid association with any political issues.[20][21]

The members of The Beatles were appointed as Members in 1965. John Lennon justified the comparative merits of his investiture by comparing military membership in the Order: "Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE [status] received theirs for heroism in the war – for killing people ... We received ours for entertaining other people. I'd say we deserve ours more". Lennon later returned his MBE insignia on 25 November 1969, as part of his ongoing peace protests.[22] Other criticism centres on the claim that many recipients of the Order are being rewarded with honours for simply doing their jobs; critics claim that the Civil Service and Judiciary receive far more orders and honours than leaders of other professions.[17]

Chin Peng, long-time leader of the Malayan Communist Party, was appointed as an Officer for his share in fighting against the Japanese during World War II, in close co-operation with the British commando Force 136. His membership was withdrawn by the British government (and became undesirable for Chin Peng himself) when the Communist leader headed his party's guerrilla insurgency against the British in the Malayan Emergency after the War.[23]

See also

Footnotes

Notes

  1. ^ It is common, but incorrect,[citation needed] to omit "of the Most Excellent Order" and other important words not implied by the initials.
  2. ^ In the image provided, the recipient has also been received into the Venerable Order of Saint John, and so that badge is shown also, on the black ribbon to the right.
  3. ^ Never surnames – thus Sir Antony Sher may be shortened to Sir Antony, but not to Sir Sher

References

  1. ^ "Guide to the Honours". BBC News. BBC. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Order of the British Empire". The Official Website of the British Monarchy. The Royal Household. Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "No. 30250". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 24 August 1917. pp. 8791–8999. 
  4. ^ "No. 57855". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 31 December 2005. p. 26. 
  5. ^ "Radio's Wogan becomes Sir Terry". BBC News. BBC. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "No. 31084". The London Gazette. 27 December 1918. p. 15135. 
  7. ^ "Birthday Honours: 'Working class' British Empire Medal revived". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
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Further reading

  • Galloway, Peter (1996). The Order of the British Empire. Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood. ISBN 0-907605-65-6. 
  • Hood, Frederic (1967). The Chapel of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, with a foreword by Prince Philip.
  • "Knighthood and Chivalry" (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., London: Cambridge University Press.

External links

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