Some information on this website may be out-of-date following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Companion of Honour

The Companion of Honour is a special award granted to those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time. The members, of which there are 65 at any one time, currently include actress Dame Maggie Smith, Lord Coe, Stephen Hawking, John Major and Desmond Tutu.

Sometimes regarded as a junior class of the Order of Merit (see here), the Order of the Companions of Honour was founded by George V in 1917 to recognise services of national importance. Non-British nationals, including Commonwealth figures, can be honorary members of the Order, and count as additional to the main 65. 

Very few people receive both the Order of Merit and the Companion of Honour, but these have included Sir Winston Churchill and Sir David Attenborough. 

Motto: "In action faithful and in honour clear"

Ranks and Post-nominals: Member (CH)

Founded: 1917