Receiving an honour

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Once an individual accepts an honour and it has been announced in The London Gazette and published GOV.UK/Honours, they will be invited to an Investiture by the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood; a Department within the Royal Household.

An Investiture is the formal ceremony, where the recipient of an award receives their Insignia in person from The King or a Member of the Royal Family. Investitures usually take place at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in the presence of the recipient’s family or close friends.

Any questions about the Investiture ceremony following the formal announcement, should be directed to the Central Chancery using the following email address:

Due to the community nature of British Empire Medals (BEM), they are presented locally by Lord-Lieutenants (Her Majesty’s local representative). BEM recipients are also invited to attend a Royal Garden Party. Presentations of these medals are either made in the recipient’s local community, for example, at the charity for which they volunteer, in their workplace, or a communal presentation with other BEM recipients. To find out more about how a BEM will be presented in your area, recipients can contact their local Lord-Lieutenant following the announcement.


Most awards allow the holder to place post nominal letters after their surname, for example ‘KCMG’, ‘DCMG’, ‘CMG’, ‘CBE’, ‘OBE’, ‘MBE’, ‘BEM’, ‘QPM’, ‘QFSM’ and ‘QAM’. These can be used immediately following the announcement.

Warrants of Appointments

Upon the appointment to an Order of Chivalry, recipients will receive a Warrant of Appointment from the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood. This is a legal document confirming the recipient’s award within an Order, such as the Order of the British Empire. Warrants of Appointment are sent by post and may arrive before or after a recipient’s Investiture.

Any questions regarding a Warrant of Appointment after it has been received, should be directed to the Central Chancery at

Coats of Arms

Honours recipients have a right to apply for a coat of arms. This can be made through an application to the College of Arms who then make a grant of arms on behalf of The King. Recipients wishing to apply for a coat of arms should contact The Herald at Arms at

Chapel at St Paul’s Cathedral

The Orders of Chivalry are connected to a ‘Home Chapel.’ Many of which allow for Members and Medallists to request weddings, baptisms and memorials within the Order’s Chapel. To request further information or to apply for use of the Chapel, Members should write to the Secretary of the Central Chancery at the following:

The Secretary of The Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood
St James’s Palace

Or email

Ceremonial Church services and other events are held throughout the year within the various Orders of Chivalry. These are advertised at

The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor

The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was founded in 1908. It was granted the title Imperial by His Majesty King George V. It acts as the Registry for all Knights Bachelor.

The Imperial Society upholds the dignity of the designation of Knights Bachelor. Any man who receives a Knight Bachelor may join the Imperial Society. For more information, contact The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor directly.