Saturday 31 March 2018

Guide to the Honours - UK

The Queen presents actor Patrick Stewart with his knighthood at Buckingham Palace in 2010Image copyrightPA
British honours are awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service.
The UK honours system is overseen by the Cabinet Office Honours and Appointments Secretariat.
The Foreign Office has responsibility for the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List which recognises service overseas, or service in the UK with a substantial international component.
UK nationals or citizens from the 15 Commonwealth realms such as Australia, Canada and Jamaica can be nominated for an honour.
Honorary awards for foreign nationals are recommended by the foreign secretary.
Orders for chivalry are made after a personal decision by the Queen.
The honours list consists of knights and dames, appointments to the Order of the British Empire and gallantry awards to servicemen and women, and civilians.
Nominations, submitted either by government departments or by members of the public, are divided into subject areas and assessed by committees comprising independent experts and senior civil servants.
Their assessments are passed to a selection committee that produces the list, independently of government, that is submitted to the Queen through the prime minister.
The Queen informally approves the list and letters are sent to each nominee. Once a nominee accepts the proposed honour, the list is formally approved.
The honours are published in the official Crown newspaper, the London Gazette, twice a year - at New Year, and in mid-June on the date of the Queen's official birthday.
The Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood at St James's Palace then arranges investitures for the recipients to be presented with their medals by the Queen or other members of the Royal Family.
CBE, OBE and MBE medalsImage copyrightPA
Image captionCBE, OBE and MBE medals
Private nominations, made by individuals or by representatives of organisations to the Cabinet Office, traditionally make up about a quarter of all recommendations.


The honours list does not cover peerages. Starting in May 2000, peers nominated by political parties have been vetted by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The commission is involved in making recommendations for non-party affiliated peerages.
An outgoing prime minister also has the right to draw up a dissolution or resignation honours list on leaving office, which is then submitted to the Cabinet Office for approval.
In recent years, however, political donations made by a number of recipients have become the subject of media scrutiny.
In a November 2011 response to a parliamentary committee's inquiry into the honours system, the Cabinet Office noted that all candidates for senior awards are "checked against the lists of donations maintained and made public by the Electoral Commission.
"The Main Honours Committee must satisfy itself that a party political donation has not influenced the decision to award an honour in any way; the committee must be confident that the candidate would have been a meritorious recipient of an honour if he or she had not made a political donation."
A Parliamentary and Political Services Committee comprising a majority of independent members and the chief whips of the three major parties was set up in 2012 to considers honours for politicians and for political service.
The Queen presents Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates with his honorary knighthood at Buckingham Palace on 2 March 2005Image copyrightPA
Image captionThe Queen presented Bill Gates with his honorary knighthood in 2005
Duke of Cambridge presents Sheridan Smith with her OBE medal at a Buckingham Palace investiture in May 2015Image copyrightPA
Image captionThe Duke of Cambridge is among the members of the Royal Family to have hosted an investiture
But in the same year the Commons Public Administration committee urged the government to review the way the whole honours system is administered. It called on ministers to set up independent bodies to nominate recipients for awards and decide when they should be withdrawn, suggesting the government's "lack of willingness to clarify and open up the process" was damaging public confidence.
Honours have sometimes been forfeited. The Honours Forfeiture Committee considers cases where a recipient's actions "raise the question of whether they should be allowed to continue to be a holder of the honour".
The Queen's art adviser Anthony Blunt, stripped of his knighthood in 1979 after being revealed as a Soviet spy, and jockey Lester Piggott, who lost his OBE after he was jailed in 1987 for tax fraud, are among those to have had honours annulled.
In 2012, former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred Goodwin - heavily criticised over his role in the bank's near-collapse in 2008 - had his knighthood removed, while entertainer Rolf Harris was stripped of a CBE in March 2015, following his conviction for indecent assault.
Meanwhile, a list of 277 people who had turned down honours between 1951 and 1999, and who had since died, was made public by the Cabinet Office following a BBC Freedom of Information request. The list included the authors Roald Dahl, J G Ballard and Aldous Huxley, and the painters Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud and LS Lowry.



The honour of knighthood comes from the days of medieval chivalry, as does the method used to confer the knighthood: the accolade, or the touch of a sword by the sovereign.
Although Knights Bachelor do not comprise an order of chivalry, knighthood is a dignity which has its origins in Britain in Saxon times. They are styled "Sir" (except for clergymen who do not receive the accolade) and their wives "Lady".
Women receiving the honour are styled "Dame" but do not receive the accolade.
The honour is given for for a pre-eminent contribution in any field of activity.
The rank of Knight Commander (KBE) or Dame Commander (DBE), Order of the British Empire, commonly appears on the Diplomatic Service and Overseas list. It can be given to Britons based abroad or in an honorary capacity to foreign nationals.


The Order of the Bath is an order of chivalry and was founded in 1725 for service of the highest calibre. The order has a civil and military division and is awarded in the following ranks: Knight Grand Cross (GCB), Knight Commander (KCB) and Companion (CB).
The Order takes its name from the symbolic bathing which in former times was often part of the preparation of a candidate for knighthood.


This Order was founded by King George III in 1818 and is awarded to British subjects who have rendered extraordinary and important services abroad or in the Commonwealth. Ranks in the Order are Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCMG), Knight or Dame Commander (KCMG or DCMG) and Companion (CMG).


This is awarded for service of conspicuous national importance and is limited to 65 people. Recipients wear the initials CH after their name.


King George V created these honours during World War I to reward services to the war effort by civilians at home and servicemen in support positions.
The ranks are Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE) and Member (MBE).
They are now awarded for prominent national or regional roles and to those making distinguished or notable contributions in their own specific areas of activity. The honour of an MBE, in particular, can be given for achievement or service in the community.


The medal was founded in 1917 and was awarded for "meritorious" actions by civilians or military personnel, although the recipients did not attend a royal investiture.
It was scrapped in 1993 by former Conservative Prime Minister John Major, as part of his drive towards a "classless" society.
Nearly two decades on, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced its revival, and from 2012, to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, about 300 will be awarded annually to community volunteers.


By 1896, prime ministers and governments had increased their influence over the distribution of awards and had gained almost total control of the system. Therefore, Queen Victoria instituted The Royal Victorian Order as a personal award for services performed on her behalf.
Today this honour is still awarded in recognition of services to the royal family. The ranks are Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight or Dame Commander (KCVO or DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO) and Member (MVO).


Associated with the Royal Victorian Order is the Royal Victorian Medal which has three grades: gold, silver, and bronze. The circular medal is attached to the ribbon of the Order.
More than one grade may be held by the same person and the medal may be worn along with the insignia of the Order itself.


Founded in 1883 by Queen Victoria, the award is confined to the nursing services. Those awarded the first class are designated "Members" (RRC): those awarded the Second Class are designated "Associates" (ARRC).
It is said that the suggestion for the founding of this decoration was made to Queen Victoria by Florence Nightingale.


This is awarded for distinguished service in the police force.


This honour is given to firefighters who have displayed conspicuous devotion to duty.

Friday 30 March 2018

Fashion & Textile Museum - 2 for 1 adult tickets + half term activities for teens!

Fashion and Textile Museum
Time Out offer
Draw like a Designer
Super Sketchbooks
Cool Crochet with Katie
Paint a T-shirt
Fine Cell Work X Daisy de Villeneuve

April at the V&A

Victoria and Albert Museum
April at the V&A 
Fashioned from Nature
Opening on Saturday 21 April

Supported by the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp – CELC

This seminal exhibition explores the complex relationship
between fashion and nature.

Tracing 400 years of fashion, and featuring leading designers from Christian Dior to Stella McCartney, this show celebrates fashion’s creativity and innovation and asks how the industry and we, as consumers, can design a vibrant but more responsible fashion system that respects, protects and celebrates the natural world.

Join the conversation #FashionedFromNature

Additional support from G-Star RAW

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For ages two to one hundred and two
Until 8 April
Don’t miss your last chance to see this playful and heart-warming exhibition about one of the most adored literary characters of all time. Explore the creative collaboration between A. A. Milne and E.H. Shepard, the inspiration behind the stories and the factors contributing to the books’ success and enduring popularity of Winnie-the-Pooh.
Ocean Liners
Until 17 June
Sponsored by Viking Cruises

From the glamorous life on deck to the floating Art Deco palaces and the famous passengers in their couture gowns - step on board Ocean Liners: Speed and Styleand explore the golden age of ocean travel.

The Future Starts Here
From Saturday 12 May
Supported by Volkswagen Group

From smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence to internet culture, this exhibition will bring together more than 100 objects as a landscape of possibilities for the near future.

Frida Kahlo:
Making Her Self Up
From Saturday 16 June
Sponsored by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Experience a fresh perspective on Kahlo's compelling life story through her most intimate personal belongings.

With support from Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and GRoW @ Annenberg’
Drawing Gems
Tuesdays 17 April – 8 May
18.30 – 20.30

Made from precious materials, the finest jewellery is meticulously designed before being brought to life. Join our upcoming workshop and try your hand at the design techniques of famous jewellery houses.
Ocean Liners Conference
Friday 27 April,
10.30 – 17.00

Join the curators of Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, the writer and filmmaker Iain Sinclair, the architect of the Queen Mary 2 Stephen Payne, and the interior designer Kelly Hoppen. Spend a day exploring liner design from French Art Deco palaces to contemporary liners.
Greyscale and Colour
Monday 9 April
19.00 – 20.45

Explore the many meanings of colour - both literal and metaphorical - in post-war Britain with acclaimed author Professor Lynda Nead. As the medium of modernity, gaiety and possibilities, it was also the language of race and of a new configuration of British society

(includes wine reception)
Club Nights and the Queer Revolution
Friday 13 April
19.00 – 20.00

Explore the many meanings of colour - both literal and metaphorical - in post-war Britain with acclaimed author Professor Lynda Nead. As the medium of modernity, gaiety and possibilities, it was also the language of race and of a new configuration of British society

(includes wine reception)
Pre-order Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up
Did you know you can pre-order our Frida Kahlo exhibition book? 

Offering a fresh perspective on the life story of this extraordinary artist, it features specially commissioned photographs of Kahlo's Mexican outfits along with her self-portraits.
Easter Holidays: Inspired by Nature
Monday 2 – Friday 13 April

Be inspired by the colours and shapes of flowers and plants, explore different natural materials for crafts and enjoy folk stories from Nordic countries at the V&A Museum of Childhood this Easter.
Royal Patron Announced
We are honoured to announce that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has agreed to become the V&A’s first Royal Patron. The patronage reflects Her Royal Highness’s continued personal interest in the visual arts, photography and design.
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8 – 10 May
 Discover documentaries, maker profiles, music videos and hand-crafted animations from around the globe that celebrate craft in all its facets.
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Until 13 May 
This Easter enter the immersive exhibition Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World.
Perfect for artists, historians, families and under 16s go free.
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With a number of westerns hitting our screens in 2018, it’s time to re-evaluate the work of Sergio Leone.