The Order of Merit is an exclusive order of chivalry setup to honour and recognise the achievement of some of the most illustrious and brightest citizens of the Commonwealth realms.
Membership is limited to the order, created by Edward VIII in 1902, to 24 members, and also honorary members, to which there is no numerical limit, and those who are not resident in one of the Commonwealth realms are admitted as.
The most well known members of the order include the creator of the Internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee; wildlife expert and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough and former speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd. Prince Charles and Prince Philip are both also members.
There are currently two spaces vacant in the order which may be filled any time soon. One vacancy was created by the recent death of Lady Thatcher, who was a member of the order.
The Queen will attend a St James’s Palace Chapel Royal service tomorrow where afterwards Her Majesty and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will give a Luncheon.
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