Anybody can write a nomination form to receive an honour, (or OBE, CBE or even a Knighthood) and the Government helpfully has some advice about how best to write the application on the Honours website.
The Government advice starts with the most important consideration – does the nominee deserve an Honour? The best written nomination for an unworthy candidate won’t work.
Who deserves an honour?
Honours recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements. There are always fewer honours than people who deserve them and because they are rare, they should be reserved for people:
(UK Government Website)
- who have changed things especially by solid, practical achievement;
- whose work has brought distinction to British life or enhanced the UK’s reputation in their area or activity. If you think your nominee demonstrates one or both of these accomplishments and that their contribution stands out from other people’s, please consider nominating them for an honour.
Beyond that, and the other tips on the site, here are our best pieces of insight gained from our experiences working with a wide variety of clients – from school teachers to movie stars.
From the UK Government Website:
The Honours system recognises and celebrates outstanding achievements. There are always fewer recipients than people who deserve them and because they are rare, they should be reserved for people:
We understand how to create an honest and effective case which uses the factors which are important to the selection committee members, civil servants and the Government for the New Year and Birthday Honours lists. Because of that, we give you an honest assessment of the chances of success based on the facts and then if you want to proceed, we will write the nomination 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 purpose was to allow members of the public to more easily nominate everyday heroes and heroines. The Prime Minister felt that the Queen’s Birthday Honours and New Years Honours shouldn’t be reserved for the rich and elite.
So, that is how we work at Bayleaf. Sensible pricing for writing great nominations. Importantly, we charge fees which are significantly lower than our competitors to allow more people to nominate their loved ones and respected colleagues.
Experienced, professional and accessible. My experience with Bayleaf Honours was 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. 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 lower prices. 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.
Secondly, we operate a high integrity business. We don’t make promises about our chances of success and we don’t claim to have influence or inside knowledge of the Honours Nomination process. Therefore, we absolutely promise our clients an honest assessment of success, compelling writing & in-depth research. Nothing more, nothing less.
Finally, our business is 100% focused on Queen’s Honours. We don’t allow ourselves to be distracted with business awards or other nominations. Securing these for you is our relentless passion.
Twice a year, we hear both debate surrounding 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 is stands, others cannot bring themselves to participate in a ceremony that harks back to 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.
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