How To Get A Damehood


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M - Honours Recipient, Social Care

Get Help With Your Damehood Application Or Nomination

Key Questions Answered

Who Can Get A Damehood?

Nominations for a Damehood can be made by anyone who meets the necessary King’s Honour criteria. This esteemed award is frequently bestowed in recognition of significant societal achievements or exemplary global or international service that serves as a role model for others.

When submitting, it is not essential to specify the name of the honour. The committee responsible for assessment will determine the most appropriate honour to be granted. Rest assured that the nominee’s achievements, contributions, and overall impact will be thoroughly evaluated to make an informed decision.

When Is The Best Time To Nominate For A Damehood?

Timing is crucial when it comes to honours nominations, particularly for Damehoods. While nominations for Damehoods are accepted throughout the year, it’s essential to understand that the honours process itself involves a considerable consideration period of approximately 24 to 30 months from the time the nomination is received.

To maximize the chances of your nominee receiving the well-deserved honour, it is imperative to get the nomination in the queue as soon as possible. Waiting too long can lead to disappointment, as unexpected changes or delays may arise, preventing the nominee from being considered for the award.

Remember, the nominee must still be actively engaged in the service for which they are being nominated. Waiting for projects to finish or until the nominee retires could result in missed opportunities for recognition. It’s important not to delay the nomination, as any further achievements or accomplishments can be added to the existing nomination at a later stage.

By taking prompt action and submitting the nomination without unnecessary delays, you increase the likelihood of your nominee receiving the recognition they truly deserve. Don’t let an avoidable postponement hinder their chances of receiving the prestigious honour they have earned!

What Should My Application For A Damehood Include To Make It Stand Out?

A nomination should provide honours committees with an accurate and persuasive account of the nominee’s roles, contributions, and achievements.

At Bayleaf, we specialize in crafting nominations that effectively convey this information while maintaining an evidence-based and compelling approach throughout the process. Our nominations are grounded in factual evidence, ensuring that the committees receive a comprehensive understanding of the nominee’s accomplishments.

A Bayleaf nomination combines accuracy with a persuasive narrative to highlight the nominee’s exceptional qualities and the impact they have made. We present a compelling case for their recognition, showcasing their dedication, expertise, and the transformative nature of their work.

By relying on an evidence-based approach, our nominations instil confidence in the honours committees, ensuring they have a clear understanding of the nominee’s significant contributions. We take pride in our ability to create persuasive nominations that resonate with the committee members and effectively advocate for the recognition the nominee deserves.

When it comes to nominations, trust Bayleaf to deliver an application that accurately and persuasively presents the nominee’s roles, contributions, and achievements. Our evidence-based and compelling approach ensures that the honours committees receive a comprehensive and impactful representation of the nominee’s exceptional accomplishments.

Can I Nominate Myself For An Honour?

No, the nominee and the nominator must not be the same person. However, there is no limitation on who can be a nominator, so a close friend or family member can act as the nominator.

What Are The Benefits Of Getting A Damehood?

Nominees have frequently attested to the transformative impact of receiving a Damehood in recognition of their work. The benefits extend beyond personal fulfilment and extend to the nominee’s chosen charity, community effort, or profession. Here are some advantages that Damehood recipients often experience:

  1. Positive Publicity: A Damehood award brings much-needed positive publicity to the nominee’s endeavours, whether it be a charitable cause, community initiative, or professional field. This recognition allows them to leverage their achievements and contribute even more meaningfully to society.
  2. Enhanced Reputation: Receiving a Damehood elevates the recipient’s personal profile and enhances their reputation. The prestigious nature of the award underscores their dedication and expertise, leading to increased trust, respect, and acceptance of their ideas, work, and projects.
  3. Trust and Respect: Damehood recipients often find that the honour instils a greater level of trust and respect from their peers, colleagues, and the wider community. The award serves as a validation of their accomplishments and expertise, opening doors to collaborative opportunities and furthering their impact.
  4. New Opportunities: The recognition that comes with a Damehood can attract new business or personal opportunities. The heightened visibility and credibility gained through the award create a platform for growth, enabling recipients to explore new ventures, partnerships, and avenues for making a difference.

Receiving a Damehood is more than a symbolic gesture; it has tangible benefits that propel recipients forward in their endeavours. From expanded opportunities to increased trust and respect, the Damehood opens doors and empowers individuals to continue making a lasting impact on society.

At Bayleaf, we understand the significance of Damehood recognition and its potential to shape the trajectory of a nominee’s work and life. We are dedicated to supporting individuals throughout the nomination process, ensuring their achievements receive the recognition they deserve and helping them unlock the full range of benefits that come with a Damehood.

What Are My Chances Of Receiving A Damehood?

The Government does not release the number of public nominations submitted each year, so it is impossible to provide accurate statistics.

We have developed our own tool which we use to predict the likelihood of a nominee receiving an Honour, based on the questions that the evaluation committees use. You can try that tool here. It takes less that 5 minutes and we have found it to be extremely accurate (when answered correctly).

Does The Nominee Need To Live In The UK?

Nominees for a Damehood are required to have surpassed the expectations of their role in either their work or community, demonstrating exceptional dedication and benefiting others through their achievements, regardless of their location.

It’s important to note that non-UK citizens can also be considered for an honour for their contributions within the UK. Their efforts and impact are evaluated without distinction based on nationality, acknowledging the significant contributions they have made within the country.

For UK citizens, recognition can be granted for achievements that benefit either UK citizens domestically or abroad, or if their work brings distinction to the UK on an international scale. This recognizes the global impact of their accomplishments and the pride they bring to the nation.

Nominees who reside overseas can still be nominated through the Foreign Secretary’s Overseas List. This list comprises awards given to both UK citizens and citizens of Commonwealth countries where HM The King is the Head of State. Such awards can also be given to citizens of any country, although the recognition of this honorary award may vary by country. It ensures that those who have made exceptional contributions are considered for recognition, regardless of their geographic location.

In terms of the nomination itself, it can encompass a wide range of accomplishments, including professional achievements, business triumphs, personal expertise, and charitable or volunteer commitments. Essentially, any endeavour that demonstrates a positive impact and influence on peers, the community, or society as a whole is eligible.

How Many People Receive A Damehood Each Year?

Of the approximately 2000 honours awarded each year, around 80 are Damehoods (or Knighthoods). You can read more about the full statistics of the Honours programme here.

We have developed our own tool which we use to predict the likelihood of a nominee receiving an Honour, based on the questions that the evaluation committees use. You can try that tool here. It takes less that 5 minutes and we have found it to be extremely accurate (when answered correctly).

How Do I Get A Damehood?

The process isn’t difficult. An online form from the British Government needs to be filled in according to the guidelines which are available on the site. Then, at least two letters of support need to be included.

So, what does it take for a Damehood nomination to have a good chance of success?

A track record of outstanding results in giving back to the community or helping society

PLUS some passionate supporters willing to write on your behalf

PLUS a compelling and well-written nomination form.

Contact Us To Discuss…

How Do You Nominate Somebody For A Damehood?

So let’s get down to business and talk about the actual process that needs to be followed. You can submit your nomination at any time of the year and there are no particular deadlines for applications. In terms of timing you need to know that the awards are announced twice a year, on The King’s Birthday (mid-June) and in the New Year’s Honours which naturally falls at the end of December.

Once a nomination is received, civil service officials are required to carry out the relevant background checks to confirm identity and legality (HMRC checks, criminal record check etc.) The process can take around 12-18 months for a nomination to be processed, but can be significantly longer. All nominations are initially assessed by a committee from the area the nominee is active (e.g. where they volunteer or fundraise), and is then passed on to a Cabinet Office committee for further appraisal.

To nominate someone, there are basic documents that need to be submitted, as follows:

  • a citation written by the agent or individual who is making the nomination
  • at least two supporting letters written by people to provide a wider perspective on why that person is being nominated

The citation that is presented will be the only evidence that most of the people involved in the official assessment process will see regarding your chosen nominee, so it is important to make sure that it is as compelling as possible, with attention to detail and terminology. This is where our expertise really comes to the fore.

Your citation needs to include:

  • your nominee’s name, age, address and contact details
  • details of relevant work or volunteering they’ve done
  • details of any awards or other recognition they’ve received

How To Write A Great Nomination?

Here are the detailed steps involved in creating a successful and compelling nomination:

The Planning Phase

  1. After placing the order, you will receive confirmation that the payment has been received with a link to a questionnaire.
  2. Complete our online questionnaire with a few details about the nominee. Some of these details are needed now at this early stage (eg confirming email address etc). Others are for foundational work (eg CV or profile). Some are for the online submission at the end of the process (eg date of birth, address etc.) You submit the questionnaire to us and we…
  3. Use your profile documents and start to do online research. Using that plus the documents you have given us, we put together a framework of the application. More specifically, what are the significant planks of your story around which we are going to build the nomination?
  4. Once we have a clear framework in mind, we will share that with you to get your agreement and then start the longest and most complex part of the process.

The Creation Phase

  1. Gathering supporting letters. Firstly, we will ask you for 2 or 3 names for each “plank” of the story to ensure we have good coverage and depth across the entire nomination.
  2. We approach the potential supporters gently, via email (phones make people suspicious) explaining who we are and that we are working for a client to nominate person X. Then we ask would they be willing to write a letter of support and if so, would they appreciate some guidance from us about how best to write it.
  3. On average, in a list of 10 supporters, 7 will agree, 2 don’t reply (maybe didn’t see the message, or maybe don’t want to support) and 1 will decline. (There can be several reasons for this – sometimes people don’t approve of the process, sometimes people have been declined themselves & sometimes, people just don’t think that you deserve an Honour).
  4. For those that agree, we send them some guidelines to help them write effective letters.
  5. Then we wait. And remind. And chase…and then wait some more. Finally, the letters arrive back and we check, suggest edits, and wait again.
  6. Once we have enough letters of high enough quality, we pass the letters, background information you have sent us, and online research to the writer from our team that we have selected for you. (Our writers are all broadsheet trained journalists and writers. We match your story with the writer with the experience to write your story in a compelling way.)
  7. Then – we write. The Bayleaf way. We base our writing on the planks we discuss in #5 above with the key aim of demonstrating your contribution and the results you achieved. We are NOT writing or rewriting your CV. Instead, we are writing a story to show you to your best advantage.

The Review Phase

  1.  And then – we send it to you. The two main sections of the nomination form plus all the supporters’ letters. (Most of our clients tell us that this is the best part of the process – reading the letters from friends and colleagues and seeing their accomplishments in black and white.) Then, we discuss, edit, review, discuss etc – until we are happy.

Read More About Bayleaf

How Can I Become Eligible For A Damehood?

  1. Build a portfolio of community-based or outstanding contributions over a long period of time.
  2. Create a network of people around you who can support and guide you.
  3. Gather supporters’ letters to add depth and credibility to your nomination.
  4. When the time is right, layout in bullet point form your main achievements. Not just the work, but also the results.
  5. Gather supporters’ letters to add depth and credibility to your nomination.

Where Does The Damehood Fit Into The Overall Honours System?

There are several different awards, but there is no such thing as a Damehood nomination form. We don’t get to choose which we apply for – it’s one application process for all honours. But it’s useful to understand the difference.

Below, our guide briefly explains the different awards in the British Honours System and the various ranks.

Knight or Dame

This is one of the highest levels, awarded for a significant national contribution. This includes serving and helping Britain through notable achievements or services.

Read More…

Commander Of The Order Of The British Empire (CBE)

To be awarded a CBE you must have had a role that has made an impact at a national level or have played a leading role in your region. Thus, these awards are also given to those who have made a distinguished and innovative contribution.

Officer Of The Order Of The British Empire (OBE)

The OBE is the most likely award to be given if the activity has taken place over a long period of time at a local level.

Read More…

Member Of The Order Of The British Empire (MBE)

Next, the MBE is awarded to individuals who have provided long-term community service, or who have been responsible for significant community impact. These people stand out as a positive example to others.

Read More…

British Empire Medal (BEM)

Finally, the BEM is likely to be awarded if somebody’s ‘hands-on’ local community work is relatively short term (i.e. 3 to 4 years) yet has made a significant difference.

Read More about an MBE…


Remember, it is the committee that decides what somebody should be awarded. For a full overview and information on nominating, please see our comprehensive process page.

Who Is Eligible For A Damehood?

From the UK Government Website:

Of course, there are always fewer Honours than people who deserve them. Because they are rare, they should be reserved for people:

  • firstly, who have changed things especially by solid, practical achievement or outstanding service
  • or, whose work has brought distinction to British life or enhanced the UK’s reputation

What Does DBE Stand For?

Dame of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

The Damehood is awarded to individuals who have provided long-term, significant service to society, or who have been responsible for significant international or global impact. Recipients will be those who stand out as a positive example to others.

Read More About Our Process

How Can Bayleaf Help You?

We are experienced Honours and recognition consultants. (We also have a global team who can support in, amongst others Australia, New Zealand and Canada). The team understand how to create an honest and effective case. This takes into account the factors which are important to the selection committee. After we listen to you, we will give you an honest assessment of the chances of success based on the facts that you tell us. Then if you want to proceed, we will write the application with you.

Finally, in addition to the nomination itself, we can also help the supporters that you choose to write their letters.

Contact Us To Discuss

How Do We Work To Help Your Application Succeed?

When the current nomination process was introduced in the 1990s, the reason was to allow members of the public to easily nominate the everyday heroes and heroines we meet in our lives. The Honours shouldn’t be reserved for the rich and elite.
So that’s how we work at Bayleaf – sensible pricing for writing great nominations. We charge fees that are significantly lower than our competitors to allow more people to nominate their loved ones and respected colleagues.

It’s a common question – “Why should we use a company like yours when the service is free? And is it ethical to pay for help?” You can read our answers at our blog post.

Read More About How We Work

Why Choose Bayleaf?

At Bayleaf, we provide our clients with affordable expertise every day. Of course, there are other providers of nomination services who charge very differently to our simple pricing structure. We built our business with low overheads so we can charge low prices to our clients. For example, our writers work remotely so we don’t pay for office space. Also, our process works exclusively online, so nobody has to pay travel expenses.

We operate a high integrity business. We don’t claim to have influence or inside knowledge of the process. Our clients receive an honest assessment of success, compelling writing & in-depth research. Nothing more, nothing less.

When it comes to success rates, it’s not a straightforward number to measure – for example, it’s not always possible to know which applications are still pending. We are confident in saying that over 80% of our clients have successful nominations. But remember – we never take clients that don’t have a realistic chance of success. Get in touch with us for an honest assessment of your chances.

Why Should I Use A Consultant For This?

You may have just learned about honours writing services and that’s how you’ve stumbled onto this article. Perhaps you’re thinking of someone you’d like to nominate or you’re unclear what an honours writing service could do to help you. Here are five reasons why using an honours writing service just makes sense:

1. Identifying The Right Supporters And Helping Them Write Compelling Letters

Chances are, you know a lot of people. Some of them would be amazing resources for supporting nomination letters for an award nomination. But you’d be surprised to learn how many people just don’t know where to start when it comes to creating a prospective supporter list or helping them create a helpful supporter letter. That’s where an honours writing service can help. You’ll receive guidance around whom to approach and they’ll get support writing a great nomination letter; one of the many requirements for a Royal Honour.

2. Follow-Up And Persistence During The Process

Have you ever started a task, but when it seemed no one else was keen on it, you just let it fizzle out? Securing your honours award nomination shouldn’t be like that. When you work with an honours writing service, they will not only advise and guide your application process but they’ll chase for any outstanding information from your nominee and supporters with a dogged determination. And that’s going to be critical as the process can take a long time and you’ll not want to lose steam nearing the finish line when you’ve invested so much time already.

3. Effective Writing With A Laser Focus

Perhaps you’re a competent writer yourself. You may be thinking, what can an honours preparation service do for me that I couldn’t manage on my own? Well, you’d be surprised how valuable experience with writing hundreds of nominations actually is. There’s a certain flow to a good nomination. You’ll need to hit key points and maintain your focus with supporting information over a long, often 6+ page document. And that’s hard for any writer to do, even a professional one. A keen eye for edits and an understanding of what the reviewing committee is looking for goes a long way.

4. Eliminating The Admin And Risk-Of-Error

The awards nomination process for a Royal Honour can be a long and tedious one. There are multiple moving parts and a fair few documentation requirements to meet before a nomination is considered. So there is a lot that could go wrong for the inexperienced. The admin and detail of submitting a nomination could take over your life if you’re going at it alone. That’s why many people choose to work with an expert team like Bayleaf Honours. That external support is critical to minimise your time investment and reduce errors in your honours nomination submission.

5. Being Discreet Throughout

Outside of your designated supporter list, you might not want the world to know you’re attempting to nominate for or be awarded, a Royal Honour. There are many reasons for this and when you work with an established honours writing service, they’ll always respect your need for privacy throughout the process. You may also be sharing sensitive information about yourself, your career or your medical history as part of the nomination process. Understandably, those things are all kept in the strictest of confidence at all times. When you contract a team like Bayleaf Honours, your privacy is a top priority.

So you see? While no one can guarantee you’ll be awarded an honour, there are lots of compelling reasons to retain an honours writing team for your nomination. If you’d like to discuss further what Bayleaf Honours can do to support you and how to get an MBE or other Honour, reach out to our helpful team here.

How Do You Get A Damehood?

Get Help With Your Damehood Application Or Nomination

Who are you nominating for a Damehood? This – the DBE – is the peak of the British Honours system. The sports coach who devotes themselves to their kids? The dedicated member of a local community? The business person who creates jobs? Or maybe that deserving candidate is you.

Or Use Our Fast Self-Assessment Tool To Check The Eligibility Of Your Nominee

Bayleaf Honours In The Media

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Mike McKie explains the Honours application process.

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Detailed Investigation
Market-Leading Pricing
Transparent Process
Compelling Application
Free Consultation
No Added Extras
Supporting Documentation

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What Our Clients Are Saying


“Experienced, professional and accessible. My experience with Bayleaf Honours was very enjoyable. I found the team there to be unpretentious, honest and transparent. My nomination was written in a compelling, comprehensive & timely manner. Their fees are fair and readily available. I had full access to all team members and felt my nomination was in the best hands.”

Fun Facts About Honours

Twice a year we hear debate about the Royal Honours – both in terms of the recipients chosen and the reasons that some people reject their award. But how much do you really know? What are the rules? And who turned their award down?


It is perhaps the origin of the Royal Honours that divides the masses. While some embrace the tradition and all it stands for, others cannot bring themselves to participate in a ceremony that harks back to the British Empire.

So Where And Why Did It Start?

Well, back in 1348, Edward III created the highest English order of chivalry, the Most Noble Order of the Garter. As the role of Government evolved in the eighteenth century, the Cabinet took over the role of selecting honours recipients and from there, the awards became something for broader society, looking beyond aristocracy and high ranking military figures.

Rarely Granted Awards

The Royal Victorian Order comprises several honours that are rare perhaps because of the way they are given. These awards, unlike others, are at the sole discretion of the Queen, and it is perhaps for this reason that Prince Philip has been decorated with so many of them!

Do You Have To Be A British National To Win?

Actually, no. The Foreign Office can recommend an award go to a foreigner who has made a significant impact. These are called Honorary Awards and a full list of the 2019 honorary awards can be found at

Controversial Awards

Perhaps one of the most controversial awards to date has to be that of the Knighthood of Iain Duncan Smith. Many argued that he was receiving the honour for being ‘Mr Universal Credit’ – a system which many claim led to poverty and distress for many.

Who Was Stripped Of Their Honour?

Perhaps the most recent and high-profile case was that of Rolf Harris, who was stripped of his CBE following his conviction of numerous counts of indecent assault. But there are many more, including a double agent, an alleged blackmailer and a corrupt businessman.

And Finally, Just For Fun, We Look At The Weird Things People Have Worn To Their Honours Ceremony

Even the Queen herself has made headlines for her choice of clothes at an investiture. In March 2020, due to public health fears amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the Queen made news for, unusually, wearing long white gloves to pin the medals to the recipients.

But there has been a truly colourful fashion parade at previous ceremonies.

From devil’s horns to no knickers – and we’re talking about just one person here. The Queen of punk fashion, Vivienne Westwood, made the news when she collected her OBE in 1992 and giving a rather revealing twirl in her dress. Although stating that she was once again knicker-less when she was made a Dame years later, it was perhaps her silver devil’s horns that made the headlines along with her fashionable nod to Che Guevara. But even though Dame Vivienne is perhaps the most controversial, many celebrities have been snapped in gorgeous or unusual creations. There’s a great photo gallery here – but can you guess which British celebrity arrived in her trainers?

* For full details about No Risk Nominations, please see our Terms and Conditions, and consult our No-Risk Nomination page.

History of the Queen's Honours Palace Corridor

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