Interest has begun picking up in preparation for the announcement of The Queen’s Birthday Honours list in the United Kingdom for 2013.
The list, the second of two published every year, will be announced on Her Majesty’s Official Birthday this Saturday (15th). It will include appointments to various orders including most commonly the Order of the British Empire.
The honours could also include appointments to the Royal Victorian Order, the Order of the Bath and men appointed to be Knights Bachelor.
Honours are usually handed out to civilians and ordinary people through the Order of the British Empire. Ranks go from Member, Officer, Commander and then Knight or Dame Commander (a Knighthood or Damehood) and then also Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (also a Knighthood or Damehood).
Men can also be made Knights Bachelor, which entitles them to the use of the title ‘Sir’ but they are not affixed to any order.
The only other honours list released during the year is the New Year honours list, released for the New Year.
Those who have been selected to receive honours will attend Buckingham Palace or another Royal Residence throughout the year to receive their honour from Her Majesty or another member of the Royal Family in person.
Last year, 22 knights bachelors, 1 Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, 8 Dame Commanders and one Knight Commander were appointed in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The Queen celebrates two birthdays in a year. One her actual birthday (the day she was born) and one her official birthday, during which the ceremony of Trooping the Colour is held in her honour. The custom of the Sovereign having two birthdays arose during Edward VII’s reign when the King decided that celebrations for his birthday should be in a month with more favourable weather (rather than celebrating it on his birthday in November, a month not famed for good weather).
The Queen’s Official Birthday is always on a Saturday in June.