The Duke of Cambridge carried out the first Investiture Ceremony of the year at Buckingham Palace yesterday on behalf of Her Majesty.
Among the honourees were Sir James Hough, in recognition of “his international leadership in the search for gravitational waves,” and Eileen Chester-James, an advocate for helping survivors of domestic violence.
Artist Rosie Wyle was also recognised yesterday for her service to “contemporary British art over a career spanning several decades.”
The Queen bestows honours to members of the public, in recognition of outstanding achievements, personal bravery, and service to the UK and the British Overseas Territories twice a year: in the New Year Honours and in her Birthday Honours in June.
The Cabinet Office releases the list, and if a person is listed in the Honours, they are then invited to one of 25 Investiture ceremonies held over the course of the year to receive their decoration.
In 2019, there will be 1,148 people receiving Honours from The Queen, which includes:
- 544 women, which accounts for 48% of the overall total
- 70% of recipients are people who have “undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity.”
- 12% of recipients are from minority backgrounds
- 4% of recipients are those living with disabilities
- 358 people will receive the British Empire Medal, awarded for “meritorious civil or military service.”
- 422 people will receive the Member of the Order of the British Empire
- 238 people will receive the Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Investiture ceremonies are usually held at Buckingham Palace, but also take place at Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, or occasionally overseas during a State Visit.
The Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William usually host Investiture ceremonies depending on their availability.
The sword used at Investiture ceremonies originally belonged to George VI, The Queen’s father, and is used for knighting ceremonies.