Order of the British Empire

Most Excellent
Order of the British Empire
CBE AEAColl.jpg
CBE neck decoration (in civil division)
Awarded by the sovereign of the United Kingdom
TypeOrder of chivalry
Established1917
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 MasterPrince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
GradesKnight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE)
Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE)
Commander (CBE)
Officer (OBE)
Member (MBE)
Former gradesMedal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry
Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service
Precedence
Next (higher)Royal Victorian Order
Next (lower)Varies, depending on rank
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png
Military ribbon
Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png
Civil ribbon

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, the most senior two of which make 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.

Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were originally made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the Viceroy of India.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.[a]

Current classes

The five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence:

  1. Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE)[b]
  2. Knight Commander or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE or DBE)
  3. Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  4. Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  5. Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)
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