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The Order of the Companions of Honour

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The Order of the Companions of Honour

The Order of the Companions of Honour was instituted in 1917 by George V at the same time as the Order of the British Empire was founded, and it is sometimes regarded as a junior class of the Order of Merit.

The Order consists of the Sovereign and 65 ordinary members.

Foreigners are admitted only as honorary members and certain additional members are appointed by statute in commemoration of special occasions.

The Order is conferred on men and women for recognised services of national importance.

Prime Ministers of Commonwealth countries may also make nominations, and the Order includes a number of Commonwealth figures.

Recipients include painter Lucian Freud, Professor Stephen Hawking, naturalist Sir David Attenborough, painter David Hockney, historian Dr Eric Hobsbawm, politicians Sir John Major and Lord Patten of Barnes, General John de Chastelain, dramatist Harold Pinter, conductor Sir Charles Mackerras, the Reverend Chad Varah, and scientist Professor Anthony Pawson.

The order confers no knighthood or other status, but recipients of this one-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters 'CH'.

The Order's badge is a gold oval-shaped medallion with a representation of an oak tree.

Hanging from a branch is a shield of the Royal Arms, and on the right of it is a representation of a knight in armour mounted on a horse.

The badge, surmounted by an imperial crown, has a blue-enamelled border bearing the motto of the Order, 'In action faithful and in honour clear'.

Motto:

In action faithful and in honour clear

Ranks:

Member

Post-Nominals

CH

Founded:

1917