The Honours System offers public recognition to people in all walks of life and all sections of society who have given quite exceptional service and made a difference in their community or in the country. There are several different types of award, each one recognising a different type of contribution.
The British Honours System is one of the oldest in the world. It has evolved over 650 years and today recognises merit, gallantry and service. Honours lists are published twice a year at New Year and in mid-June, on the date of HM The Queen's Official Birthday.
Anyone can receive an award if they reach the required standard of merit or service, and honours lists include a variety of people from diverse backgrounds.