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State & Ceremonial

Sir Paul McCartney is made a Companion of Honour by The Queen at Buckingham Palace

The singer Sir Paul McCartney has been made a Companion of Honour by The Queen at Buckingham Palace for his lasting contribution to music in the UK and Worldwide.

He previously received a knighthood from The Queen more than 20 years ago. He also received an MBE in 1965 when he was with The Beatles.

When he was named as a recipient, Sir Paul said: I’m very happy about this huge honour, and with the news coming on my birthday weekend and Father’s Day, it makes it colossal.”

The Order of the Companions of Honour was founded in 1917 by King George V. The Queen names the recipients of the award based on people “who have made a major contribution in their field,” according to the Royal Family’s website.

Only 65 people can hold the honour at one time. There are currently 62 Companions of Honour meaning there are three vacancies.

Sir Paul was named in The Queen’s birthday honours list along with author J.K. Rowling and cook Delia Smith who both received their honours last year.

Other members include actress Dame Maggie Smith, former Prime Minister Sir John Major, singer Dame Vera Lynn and activist and Bishop Desmond Tutu.  Additional non-British nationals, which includes members from the Commonwealth of Nations, can be honorary members outside of the 65 primary members.

The insignia of the order is a crowned oval medallion with a rectangular crown within, which features an oak tree, the shield of the Royal Arms and a mounted armoured knight. A blue border surrounds the insignia and reads ‘In action faithful and in honour clear’ – the motto of the order.  Men wear the order around their necks on a red neck ribbon bordered in gold, with women wearing the order as a bow on their left shoulder.

Companions of the Order are not conferred any further titles beyond the post-nominal letters CH.