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December 31, 2005

New Year’s Honours List.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The New Year’s Honours List is out. Huge fun for all the family as we ask, who? What did he get? For what?

The full list:

Download nhons31a.pdf

Download nhons31b.pdf

It’s Sir Tom Jones now, for example, and Sir Johnny Dunckworth (isn’t his wife, Cleo Lane, already a Dame? So it would be Lady Cleo DBE? Which is a bit weird).

Dame Vivienne Westwood! Bet no one thought that was going to happen when she was sticking safety pins into Johnny Rotten! (for the chronologically challenged amongst us, she was the designer who sorted out the Sex Pistol’s "look". Yes, sadly, they were a manufactured "boy band". She was the then girlfriend of Malcolm McLaren, their Svengali.)

I’m not going to give a detailed guide to the honours system but there are in fact 21 different types of knighthood. KB (Knight Bachelor) and KBE (Knight of the British Empire) are the normal ones, Bt (Baronet, which is hereditary, rarely given. Last was Dennis Thatcher), KG (Garter) and KT (Thistle, the Scottish equivalent) are limited to 24 non-royals at any time, then things like of the Bath, Michael and George and so on. These latter tend to be given for specific sectors. Bath is, I think, civil service, while M&G is Foreign Office? That sort of thing.

Then all of these orders have gradations within them, Knights, Grand Commanders, Officers, Members and so on which is how we get, in the British Empire system, KBE, CBE, OBE and MBE, as an example.

This is about the time to trot out the old joke about the gradations in the Order of St. Michael and St George. Commander of (CMG) means "Call me God", Knight Commander (KCMG) means "Kindly Call me God" and Grand Commander(GCMG) means "God Calls me God".

And for anyone wondering why the carpenter at Sandringham (which is one of the Queen’s homes) got a medal in the Victorian Order, that’s because that specific order goes to those who have served the Royal Family directly. It’s also the very few that is actually decided upon by the Queen herself, rather than the government of the day. Oddly, along with that Victorian Order, there are four that are directly in the Queen’s gift without Tony Blair or any other politician getting his hands on it.

Companion of Honour (CH), Order of Merit (OM) and the above Garter and Thistle. And those are the four that everyone really wants. Very, very posh indeed.

Let me know if you spot any others worth a special mention. Anybody know any of them, for example? One of the blokes from the pub out here got an MBE last year (services to charity) so there should be someone in that list that someone knows?

December 31, 2005 in The English | Permalink


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» New years honours list from Antonia's blog
Not a big one for honours, unsurprisingly (whose idea was it that we remove all references to the empire in the honours, and allow the option of being presented them by the Speaker? I like that), but if we have to have them in their current form, then... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 31, 2005 3:08:52 PM


Tim, as I've met Paddy, does that mean I have to renounce atheism?

God calls Paddy God.

Tim adds: Acknowledge your inner agnosticism perhaps?

Posted by: MatGB | Dec 31, 2005 5:35:00 PM

Remarkably, I've met one of the fellows who scored an LVO, and I briefly worked for the gent he replaced as Secretary of the Garter. Didn't know I had such connections, eh?

Posted by: Dan | Jan 1, 2006 4:00:13 AM