Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service.[2] It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, with the most senior two classes making the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female.[3] There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of the order.

Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
CBE neck decoration (in civil division)
Awarded by
Sovereign of the United Kingdom
TypeOrder of chivalry
Established1917; 104 years ago (1917)
MottoFor God and the Empire
EligibilityBritish nationals, citizens of the Commonwealth realms, or anyone who has made a significant achievement for the United Kingdom
Awarded forProminent national or regional achievements[1]
StatusCurrently constituted
SovereignQueen Elizabeth II
Grand MasterVacant
Grades
  • Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)
Former grades
Precedence
Next (higher)Royal Victorian Order
Next (lower)Varies, depending on rank

Military ribbon

Civil ribbon

Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were originally made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British (Imperial) honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours.[lower-alpha 1]