You know somebody who deserves recognition from the Queen but don’t know how to go about it?
Well, that’s why Bayleaf Honours exists.
We are 100% focused, meaning we don’t work on business or export awards. Our team are fully dedicated.
There are several different awards, but there is no such thing as an MBE nomination form. We don’t get to choose which we apply for – it’s one application process for all honours. But it’s useful to understand the difference.
Below, our guide briefly explains the different awards in the British Honours System and the various ranks.
This is one of the highest levels, awarded for a significant national contribution. This includes serving and helping Britain through notable achievements or services.
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
To be awarded a CBE you must have had a role that has made an impact at a national level or have played a leading role in your region. Thus, these awards are also given to those who have made a distinguished and innovative contribution.
The OBE is the most likely award to be given if the activity has taken place over a long period of time at a local level.
Next, the MBE is awarded to individuals who have provided long-term community service, or who have been responsible for significant community impact. These people stand out as a positive example to others.
British Empire Medal (BEM)
Finally, the BEM is likely to be awarded if somebody’s ‘hands-on’ local community work is relatively short term (i.e. 3 to 4 years) yet has made a significant difference.
Remember, it is the committee that decides what somebody should be awarded. For a full overview and information on nominating, please see our comprehensive process page.
From the UK Government Website:
Of course, there are always fewer Honours than people who deserve them. Because they are rare, they should be reserved for people:
In addition, you can read more about the current priority areas of the Prime Minister & the Honours System and how they have changed over time.
We are experienced consultants. The team understand how to create an honest and effective case. This takes into account the factors which are important to the selection committee. After we listen to you, we will give you an honest assessment of the chances of success based on the facts that you tell us. Then if you want to proceed, we will write the application with you.
Finally, in addition to the nomination itself, we can also help the supporters that you choose to write their letters.
When the current nomination process was introduced in the 1990s, the reason was to allow members of the public to easily nominate the everyday heroes and heroines we meet in our lives. The Honours shouldn’t be reserved for the rich and elite.
So that’s how we work at Bayleaf – sensible pricing for writing great nominations. We charge fees which are significantly lower than our competitors to allow more people to nominate their loved ones and respected colleagues.
It’s a common question – “Why should we use a company like yours when the service is free? And is it ethical to pay for help?” You can read our answers at our blog post.
Experienced, professional and accessible. My experience with Bayleaf Honours was very enjoyable. I found the team there to be unpretentious, honest and transparent. My nomination was written in a compelling, comprehensive & timely manner. Their fees are fair and readily available. I had full access to all team members and felt my nomination was in the best hands.
At Bayleaf, we provide our clients with affordable expertise every day. Of course, there are other providers of nomination services who charge very differently to our simple pricing structure. We built our business with low overheads so we can charge low prices to our clients. For example, our writers work remotely so we don’t pay for office space. Also, our process works exclusively online, so nobody has to pay travel expenses.
That means that we can commit to beating any other price for a similar service – by a lot! If you have received a genuine offer from any established competitor of ours, send the offer to us and we guarantee to beat the price by 50%! Not only that, but we have no word limits or limits on the number of supporters we contact for you.
We operate a high integrity business. So we don’t make promises about our chances of success and we don’t claim to have influence or inside knowledge of the process. Our clients receive an honest assessment of success, compelling writing & in-depth research. Nothing more, nothing less.
Finally, our business is 100% focused – we don’t allow ourselves to be distracted with business awards or other nominations. Securing recognition for you is our relentless passion.
Twice a year we hear debate about the Queen’s Honours – both in terms of the recipients chosen and the reasons that some people reject their award. But how much do you really know? What are the rules? And who turned their award down?
It is perhaps the origin of the Queen’s Honours Awards that divide the masses. While some embrace the tradition and all it stands for, others cannot bring themselves to participate in a ceremony that echoes the British Empire.
Well, back in 1348, Edward III created the highest English order of chivalry, the Most Noble Order of the Garter. As the role of Government evolved in the eighteenth century, the Cabinet took over the role of selecting honours recipients and from there, the awards became something for broader society, looking beyond aristocracy and high ranking military figures.
The Royal Victorian Order comprises several honours that are rare perhaps because of the way they are given. These awards, unlike others, are at the sole discretion of the Queen, and it is perhaps for this reason that Prince Philip has been decorated with so many of them!
Actually, no. The Foreign Office can recommend an award go to a foreigner who has made a significant impact. These are called Honorary Awards and a full list of the 2019 honorary awards can be found here.
Perhaps one of the most controversial awards to date has to be that of the Knighthood of Iain Duncan Smith. Many argued that he was receiving the honour for being ‘Mr Universal Credit’ – a system which many claim led to poverty and distress for many.
Many celebrities and public figures have turned down awards over the years. Notably, we’ve seen members of the black community, including writer Benjamin Zephaniah and footballer Howard Gayle turn down their awards, with many arguing that its celebration of British imperialism make it inappropriate. Meanwhile, former PMs Tony Blair and Gordon Brown also rejected the honour, as did Roald Dahl, Nigella Lawson and many more.
Perhaps the most recent and high-profile case was that of Rolf Harris, who was stripped of his CBE following his conviction of numerous counts of indecent assault. But there are many more – including a double agent, an alleged blackmailer and a corrupt businessman.
Even the Queen herself has made headlines for her choice of clothes at an investiture. In March 2020, due to public health fears amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the Queen made news for, unusually, wearing long white gloves to pin the medals to the recipients.
But there has been a truly colourful fashion parade at previous ceremonies.
From devil’s horns to no knickers – and we’re talking about just one person here. The Queen of punk fashion, Vivienne Westwood, made the news when she collected her OBE in 1992 and giving a rather revealing twirl in her dress. Although stating that she was once again knicker-less when she was made a Dame years later, it was perhaps her silver devil’s horns that made the headlines – along with her fashionable nod to Che Guevara. But even though Dame Vivienne is perhaps the most controversial, many celebrities have been snapped in gorgeous or unusual creations. There’s a great photo gallery here – but can you guess which British celebrity arrived in her trainers?
Bayleaf Honours is a commercial entity with no connection to the British Government, the Cabinet Office or the Honours Committees. No ability to influence the process in a client's favour through lobbying or access is claimed or implied.
Trading as Sage Leaf Ltd, UK Company Number 11876561. Registered Office : International House, 61 Mosley Street, Manchester. M2 3HZ
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