UK honours system open to anyone in the world

With the election out of the way, if not the repercussions, it’s time to turn our attention to the Queen’s Birthday Honours List which is due to be announced this Saturday.
I’ll be in touch with my predictions for the upcoming list later this week. Before doing so 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 potential nominees 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 an interview I did on this subject for Arabian Business magazine yesterday (click on the photo below):

Frenchman and Abu Dhabi resident Jean-Paul Villain receiving his OBE from the UK Ambassador to the UAE, Mr Dominic Jermey at the British Embassy in 2014

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.

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