While, there are no official records or figures that reveal the breakdown of honours by age, there are reports in the media that provide some interesting facts about the oldest and youngest people to have received queen’s honours.
Four-time gold medal winner, British Paralympian swimmer, Ellie Simmonds (pictured above) was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours List. At just 14 years old, she became the youngest person ever to have received this honour. Simmonds was later appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours.
The oldest person in the 2013 birthday honours lists was Blodwen Espley, a 93 year old volunteer from Northern Ireland. Blodwen was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to healthcare.
The youngest female to be honoured at the highest level was Ellen MacArthur. Ellen was 28 years old when she was appointed a Dame. The oldest woman to receive the title of Dame was Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, who was appointed when she was 100 years old.
Looking at these findings, one thing is clear – honours go to people of all ages, awarded on the basis of their achievement, influence and impact. What really matters is the strength of their contribution to British society, not their age or background. There is however, one caveat to this. The Cabinet Office suggests that people are nominated while they are still active in their role or field. So if there is someone you would like to nominate, make sure you complete the nomination before they step down or move on from the good work they are currently doing.
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