Answer:  We recently received the following email from a potential client:
“thanks for sending the info about how to nominate my wife for a Queen’s honour and your various nomination drafting packages. Having given it a lot of consideration I’ve decided to take care of the drafting process myself as my wife wants a new car and I can pay for it with the money I save by not paying you to do it.”

Our reply to this chap, let’s call him Nigel, was that he is right of course. He will save on our fees if he drafts the nomination himself, but we also pointed out that he will also put himself at a significant disadvantage.

We reminded Nigel:

  • about all the amazing work his wife has done in the community and for charity, as well as building a very successful travel business which employs lots of people
  • how worthy she is, that she thoroughly deserves an honour, that she has to be in it win it and therefore is reliant on him to give her the best possible chance of getting what is the most prestigious award in the world
  • that we spend about 100 to 150 hours on a typical honours nomination and that most people simply don’t have that amount of time to commit to it. Yes he could knock up a nomination on the back of a fag packet on a wet Sunday afternoon, but is that really going to cut it at the Cabinet Office?
  • that we estimate the average success rate across all honours nominations to be just 1 in 10 (10%) and that our success rate is about 2 in 3 (65%)
  • it takes about 12–18 months for a decision. If unsuccessful he could re-nominate her and wait another 12–18 months with his fingers crossed. But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome, so what’s the point unless something has significantly changed? Better to get it right the first time and be done with it

Having initially spoken to Nigel on the phone for about half an hour last Monday I can tell he loves his wife and really admires her and how she has helped so many people. So much so, he wants to buy the new car she has her eye on.

I totally get the new car thing, but wonder if he has really made the right choice for the woman he loves.