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The West Midlands Lieutenancy

Honours are given to people from all walks of life and all sections of society who have made a difference to their community. There are several different types of award, each one recognising a different type of contribution.

Although the Lord-Lieutenant, on occasion, is involved with assessments all nominations should be made directly to the Head of the Honours and Appointments Secretariat at the Cabinet Office.

Types of honours or awards

Most awards are made in the Order of the British Empire, which has a number of levels.

During the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours in 2012 the British Empire Medal was reintroduced. This rewards an achievement or contribution of very 'hands on' service to the community. This could take the form of sustained commitment in support of a charity or voluntary activity, or innovative work which has delivered real impact in a short time.

The honours list

The honours list is announced twice a year on The Queen’s official birthday in June and again just before the end of the year (New Year’s Honours). Submissions can take 12 to 18 months or longer to process, depending when submitted. There is no closing date. The presentation of awards usually takes places at an investiture at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. However, in some circumstances the Lord-Lieutenant may be asked to present the award locally on behalf of The Queen. All British Empire Medals (BEM) are presented by Lord-Lieutenants on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen at local presentation events.

Anyone can nominate a deserving individual within their community whether they are a friend or someone they have worked with or who might have helped them in some specific way. What is important is not to let the person you are thinking of know what you have in mind and then to privately ask others who might feel the same as you to support you in the process.

An outline of some of the most well known Honours are:

Companion of Honour

Awarded for a pre-eminent and sustained contribution in the arts, science, medicine, or government.


Awarded for a pre-eminent contribution in any field of activity, through achievement or service to the community, usually, but not exclusively at national level, or in a capacity which will be recognised by peer groups as inspirational and significant nationally, and which demonstrates sustained commitment.


Awarded for a prominent national role of a lesser degree, or a conspicuous leading role in regional affairs, through achievement or service to the community, or making a highly distinguished, innovative contribution in his or her area of activity.


Awarded for a distinguished regional or country-wide role in any field, through achievement or service to the community, including notable practitioners known nationally.


Awarded for achievement or service in and to the community of a responsible kind which is outstanding in its field; or very local 'hands-on' service which stands out as an example to others. In both cases awards illuminate areas of dedicated service which merit public recognition.


The British Empire Medal is awarded in recognition of the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities. Those awarded the honour will not receive it from Her Majesty The Queen but from the Lord-Lieutenant of the area. However, those awarded the BEM will be entitled to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party with others whose work has been recognised.

A comprehensive guide to the Honours System, including nomination forms can be found at https://www.gov.uk/honours.

Birthday and New Year Honours