Top tips for writing a Queen’s Honour Nomination

Having probably drafted more successful Queen’s Honours nominations than anyone else in the world and successfully interpreted and negotiated the wide-ranging criteria, here are our top secrets for preparing and writing a Queen’s Honour nomination.
Make sure you:
  1. Submit the nomination while the nominee is still active in their field
  2. Describe the impact and effect of the nominee’s work 
  3. Articulate why the nominee’s achievements are notable, special or unique
  4. Keep your nomination relevant and to the point
  5. Focus on the individual’s own achievements, not the achievements of their organisation or team. 
  6. Only include information about the nominee’s early life or education if it is relevant to the case you are trying to present. 
  7. Assume the reader is not an expert in the nominee’s area; spell-out or explain any technical terms, and of equal importance, don’t use jargon. 
  8. Use superlatives approriately, but not as hot air!
  9. Avoid bullet points and use full sentances.
  10. Explain, evidence and substantiate your claims. Extraordinary achievements are expected, and recognising these contributions is the whole point of the Honours system. 
How do I find the right words?
Effective nominations often include nouns such as:
determination, commitment, respect, drive, sustainability, recognition, innovation, creativity, selflessness, impact, zeal, performance, ambassador
adjectives such as:
trusted, unstinting, conscientious, wise, inspirational, peerless, persuasive, passionate, exemplary, resourceful, enthusiastic, fair, tenacious, sympathetic, admired, unflustered, supportive, vibrant, dogged, articulate, diligent, dedicated
and phrases such as:
making a difference, going the extra mile, role model, overcoming obstacles, head and shoulders above the rest
What shouldn’t I do?
Your nomination shouldn’t be:
  • an extended CV;
  • a list of educational achievements;
  • a list of appointments, awards or posts;
  • a job description showing what the person is meant to do.
Because poor nominations often list these things, a frequent complaint from committees is that the person recommended is “doing no more than their job” or “doing nothing that stands out”.
Instead, your nomination should describe what is special about your candidate’s achievements and show memorably and persuasively how and where they have made a difference.

For an honest opinion of your nominees chances of success call Awards Intelligence now on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email
Our experts know the criteria inside out, they know what works and what doesn’t, and they will take of the whole Queen’s honour nomination process for you – saving you valuable time and significantly increasing the nominee’s chances of getting the recognition they deserve. After all, you only get one chance to make a positive first impression, so don’t waste it!