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Order of the Companions of Honour

Order of the Companions of Honour
Riband and badge of the "Companions of Honour"
TitleOrder of the Companions of Honour
CaptionRiband and badge of the "Companions of Honour"
Awarded Bythe sovereign of the Commonwealth realms
ForNationally important service
StatusCurrently constituted
Head TitleSovereign
HeadQueen Elizabeth II
GradesCompanion (CH)
Caption2Ribbon bar of the order

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The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion.

The order consists of the sovereign, plus no more than 65 Companions of Honour with, originally, a quota of 45 members for the United Kingdom, 7 for Australia, 2 for New Zealand and 11 for other Commonwealth realms. It has not been awarded in Australia since 1981, where it has been displaced by the Order of Australia. Additionally, foreigners from outside the realm may be added as "honorary members". Membership of the order confers no title, or precedence, but recipients of this one-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "CH".

The insignia of the Order consists of an oval medallion with an oak tree, a shield with the royal arms hanging from one branch, and on the left a mounted knight in armour. The badge's clear blue border bears the motto IN ACTION FAITHFUL AND IN HONOUR CLEAR (Alexander Pope's description (in iambic pentameter) in his Epistle to Mr Addison of James Craggs, later used on Craggs' monument in Westminster Abbey) in gold letters, and the oval is surmounted by an imperial crown. Men wear the badge on a ribbon (red with golden border threads) around their necks, and women on a bow at the left shoulder.

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