We are deeply saddened to hear of the Queen’s passing. Our hearts go out to the Royal Family and the rest of the nation as we all try to process this tremendous loss. Her decades of stalwart service, immense fortitude and calm leadership in times of turmoil set a shining example for the world’s leaders and her impact will echo for generations to come.
As the nation’s leading authority on the Royal Honours process, we have been asked about the future of the process and whether we envisage changes. If you’re worried and wondering about the future of the “Queen’s Honours”, we’re here to set your mind at ease.
Will the Queen’s Honours continue?
We have no doubt. While the “Queen’s Honours” is the commonly-used name, the official name is the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It was founded by King George V over 100 years ago. And, over time, will probably become commonly known as “King’s Honours” as Charles and William take the throne in succession. However, it’s important to note that none of the official names of the various honours (OBE, MBE, CBE etc) refers to “Queen” herself. This is just colloquial nomenclature for the honours as, during their reign, the monarch is the sole person who awards these honours.
What about iconography?
Yes, those will change. Our currency, symbols and official correspondence will adjust to the new reigning monarch, but not overnight. While Charles became King instantaneously, the Coronation won’t take place for several months. And it’s largely after that ceremony when you can expect to see King Charles III represented on our stamps, money and the like.
What about The Birthday Honours List?
You may remember that one of the announcements of Queen’s Honours happens on her official birthday. But this is a state occasion that isn’t on her actual birthdate and it’s likely that King Charles III will maintain the same official birthday. This is because, since 1748, it has been timed to coincide with the Trooping of the Colour ceremony. So, at this stage, it seems likely that there will continue to be two Honours announcements; one for the New Year and one for the official birthday of King Charles III in June; as it always has been.
What will change?
We don’t think that much will change. This process is primarily a Governmental one, run by the civil service and Cabinet Office, with priorities set by the Prime Minister. While we will eventually stop referring to the awards as the Queen’s Honours and might start calling them the King’s Honours, it’s fair to assume that there will be no material changes to this process as the new chapter unfolds. And we expect all nominations which were submitted under the Queen’s reign to still be considered by the government and awarded as always by our new monarch.