Skip to content
Home ยป OBE, MBE, CBE and Knighthood – What Are They?

OBE, MBE, CBE and Knighthood – What Are They?

Special awards are presented each year twice to honor outstanding achievements. however, what is the distinction between OBE and MBE or CBE?

The British honors system awards famous, well-known people with honours, decorations and medals for their achievements. For everyone from Hollywood film stars such as Kate Winslet to Second World War veteran Sir Tom Moore, Captain Tom Moore, these honours can be given to anyone who has made extraordinary achievements.

They are given twice in a year by the monarch in charge. The first ceremony is held only a few days prior the close of the year and is also known as the New Year Honours. 2023 was the first year the honours were issued in the reign of the King Charles III.

Although it’s yet to be announced in 2023 The King’s Birthday Honors List usually is held on the monarch’s official birthday , which is in June. The winners are announced in writing through The Gazette.

Who is the winner?

A committee special to decide who is awarded honors and what kind of honours they’ll receive. Then it is decided by the prime minister, but the King gets the final say.

For information on how to get an OBE visit

The award ceremony

Different awards are given based on the accomplishments of the person. These awards are presented in the order they are given:

GBE KBE and DBE (Knight or DBE (Knight or) (Knight or Dame) from the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. These ranks permit recipients to put Sir (for males)) as well as Dame (for females) prior to their first name. Twiggy as well as Maureen Lipman both are Dames as can Elizabeth Taylor.

CBE – CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Kate Winslet has a CBE.

OBE is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Vivienne Westwood is an OBE.

MBE Awarded the rank of Member of order of the British Empire. Adele is a recipient of an MBE.

BEM This is the British Empire Medal is awarded for service in the military.

Companion of Honour The Companion of Honour is awarded to those who have made significant contributions to science, the arts and medicine, or to the public sector for a prolonged period of time. Sir David Attenborough has one of the honours, and so do Judi Dench.

What’s what is the Order of the British Empire?

The British honors system is comprised of different orders. However, it is known as the Order of the British Empire was established in 1917, by George V during WWI to pay tribute to the efforts of the soldiers who fought on the frontline.

The awards were originally presented to soldiers of the forces, but are now handed to the general public too.

MBE means

An MBE is a distinction given to someone who plays the “major local involvement in any area, and includes individuals who’s work has made them famous throughout their chosen location.” Notable MBE winners include the Great British Bake-Off’s Nadiya Hussain Adele All of the Beatles and television chef Ainsley Harriott.

What exactly is an OBE?

OBE is an award that recognizes OBE An OBE is an award given to an individual for “outstanding accomplishment or contribution in the community. It will have had lasting, substantial impact and be an example for other people.” Vivienne Westwood and actress Kiera Knightly and the actor Eddie Redmayne, actress Naomie Harris as well as The Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter, actor Ewan McGregor, as well as David as well Victoria Beckham and James Corden are just a few famous people who have received this honor.

What is an CBE?

CBEs are awarded to those who have a CBE is awarded to an individual who plays an “prominent but less important job at the national level or has a prominent position at the regional or regional levels. You may also be awarded one for an outstanding and innovative contribution to any sector.” Famous people who have CBE distinctions are Benedict Cumberbatch, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zita Jones, Joan Collins and Helena Bonham Carter.

What is the knighthood?

While CBE, OBE and MBE are among the highest-ranking honors, only those who are in the top two ranks may be awarded the title “Sir” and “Dame”. The recipients of the titles of GBE, KBE or DBE can wear these titles.

The highest rank within the Order is the GBE that is an Dame or Knight Cross however, they are extremely rare. Since 2000, just 16 awards have been awarded. The actress Emma Thompson is amongst the winners who have received an award along with Michael Caine, Julie Andrews and Rod Stewart,

Only British individuals can be elevated to the rank of Sir or Dame However, foreigners can receive an honorary KBE or DBE. A good example of this is the fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Bill Gates as well as Angelina Jolie.

These awards are presented to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to an activity typically on a national basis. They are typically presented with the slash of the sword of the Queen or King.

Sir David Attenborough awarded a second knighthood

In 2022 In 2022, Sir David Attenborough was awarded a second knighthood to recognize his contribution to conservation and broadcasting on television. The first time he was knighted was in 1985, however the award was changed to an knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael And St George which is a more prestigious award.

What do honours entitle you to?

The people selected for honor are invited to the “investiture” ceremony in which The King or any other royal family member, like Prince William or Princess Anne will present them with their own insignia, an award in the form of an order.

This typically happens soon after the honors list is released, however recipients may start using their new titles or the letters that follow their name from the moment the awards are announced.

The honorees may also be awarded the arms of their coat to show their affiliation with the order.

New Years Honours 2023

In his inaugural Honours list in his first Honours list, King Charles presented the actor Stephen Graham an OBE for the services he rendered to drama and an MBE to Frank Skinner for services to entertainment. Frank confessed that he had not informed his family members about the award in the belief that it was “some kind of error in the administration”.

The lead guitarist of the band Queen as well as scientist Brian May was knighted for his contributions to music and charitable causes.

England captain Leah Williamson was made an OBE and her co-stars Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White scooped MBEs.

Other famous names among this list of 1107 winners include the artists Grayson Perry, athlete Denise Lewis and fashion designer Mary Quant.