Special honours are given to people who make outstanding contributions to their community and the country, with the New Year Honours acknowledging 1,107 people in the UK this year.
They range from politicians, musicians and actors to senior diplomats at the forefront of the UK’s response to the war in Ukraine and members of the England women’s football team, which won Euro 2022.
Here are the ranks in descending order and some of the people being honoured:
– Companions of Honour (CH)
The Order of the Companions of Honour was founded on June 4 1917 by George V and is limited to 65 members at any one time. Appointments go to those who have made a long-standing contribution to arts, science, medicine or government.
Two have been named in the latest list – public health expert Sir Michael Marmot and fashion designer Dame Mary Quant.
– Grand Cross
Grand Cross (GBE) is the highest class in many of the Orders.
Economist Sir Partha Dasgupta and writer Hermione Lee are named on the latest list.
– Order of the Bath (GCB/KCB/CB)
This recognises the work of senior military officials and civil servants.
Former Treasury permanent secretary Sir Tom Scholar is the only Knight Grand Cross (GCB) in the New Year Honours, with clerk to the House of Commons John Benger becoming Knight Commander (KCB) and seven people made Companions (CB).
– Order of St Michael and St George (Knight/GCMG/KCMG/DCMG/CMG)
This recognises service in a foreign country or in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs, such as the work of diplomats overseas.
– Knighthood and damehood (Knight/DBE)
These are usually bestowed on people who have made a major contribution at national level, who can use the titles dame and sir.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis becomes a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), while Queen guitarist Brian May, artist Grayson Perry and MPs Chris Bryant and Julian Lewis are knighted.
There are damehoods for athlete Denise Lewis, actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna and North Tyneside’s elected mayor Norma Redfearn.
– Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
People are recognised with this honour if they have a prominent but lesser role at national level or a leading role at regional level.
It also goes to those who make a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area.
Campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the mother of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death on her death certificate, former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings and West End producer Sonia Friedman were among the 106 people made a CBE.
– Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
People are made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire if they have a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally.
Among the 219 honoured in this way in the latest list are Lionesses captain Leah Williamson, actors David Harewood and Stephen Graham and MP Helen Grant.
– Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
This rank recognises outstanding achievements or service to the community with a significant long-term impact.
A total of 431 people were made Members of the Order of the British Empire in the latest list, including Lionesses Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White.
– British Empire Medal (BEM)
The BEM was reintroduced in 2012 by then-prime minister David Cameron as part of his bid to make the honours system “classless”, saying too few people making a difference in their areas were made MBEs.
The medal goes to 305 people in the New Year Honours.