Arise……the History of Honours

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August 14, 2012 by dontbringlulubook

Twice a year the monarch overseeing the United Kingdom issues names of people who are to receive honours, decorations or medals: Birthday and New Year.

These awards can be granted to any British subject (both domestic and oversees territories) and in some cases foreigners if their achievements are deemed worthy.

Anyone, regardless of religion, class, creed or race, can be nominated – from your everyday neighbour who makes a difference in society to soldiers serving on the front
line. Merit, service or bravery – these qualities are rewarded.

As long as the history books have been written, there is evidence of monarchs and
other ‘heads of state’ rewarding their loyal subjects. The introduction of the feudal
system started to align theses titles.

The first documented honours title for chivalry came in the reign of Edward III, the Order
of the Garter, 1348. This was granted to people who held public office, contributed to
national life or those who served the Sovereign directly.

The patron-saint of the Order is St. George; and it is no coincidence that the spiritual
home of this honour is St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.

The ruling monarch is the ‘fountain of honour’ – the one person who can confer titles on
their subjects.

Nominations can be made by public and private bodies, government departments,
individual members of the public and, of course, the monarchy themselves.

Pioneering broadcast journalist Ron Onions was awarded an OBE for services to
broadcasting in 1983.

The Order of the British Empire was created in 1917 during the First World War by
George V. Women were included in the orders of chivalry for the first time.

Its motto is ‘For God and the Empire’, with its spiritual home in St. Paul’s Cathedral and
a chapel in the crypt, alongside which British heroes such as Nelson and Wellington are
laid to rest. The criterion for this title: distinguished service.

Ron Onions without a doubt had a long and established career in broadcasting. What
made it distinguished, however, were not the various stories he covered or where he
travelled to cover them. It was his training of others; the knowledge he gained and
passed on – his Legacy.


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