UK honours system open to anyone in the world

18/08/2017 - News

I wanted to shed some light on the rules around making Queen’s honours nominations for worthy people who are either UK citizens and live abroad or are not UK citizens. We receive loads of calls from people and the media about this and the rules are clear:
You can nominate anyone for an honour if they live or work abroad and they’ve made achievements in either:

  • the UK and their achievements have a significant international element to them
  • or another country

Nominees who are not British citizens can be given an ‘honorary award’.

Here's a BBC radio interview I did yesterday about the honours system which, amoung other things, discusses this important matter (click on the photo below of Sir Anthony Hopkins). Having looked in to this further, contrary to what was implied by the interviewer, Sir Anthony has dual citizenship in the US and UK and can therefore legitimately use the 'Sir' title even though he chooses to live in the US. 


Here’s a link to what the Cabinet Office say on their website.

So to clarify, you don’t need to be a British citizen and your achievements don’t have to relate to the UK. This is an important and much misunderstood fact that opens up the UK honours system to anyone, based anywhere in the world, regardless of whether they are a UK citizen and regardless of whether their achievements relate to the UK or another country. So, as long as your nominee is worthy, you can put them forward.
If you would a free assessment of your nominee’s chances of success give us a call now on
01444 230130 or email

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Sue Hall, Awards Intelligence

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