The title of Companion of Honour was created in 1917 by George V, around the same time as the Order of the British Empire was founded. It is often considered to be junior version of the Order of Merit and is awarded for 'recognised services of national importance'.

There is a 65 person limit on membership, and new members are nominated by the Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth and approved by the reigning Monarch. The insignia of the Order is an gold oval medallion depicting an oak tree with the Royal Arms hanging from them, the motto 'In action faithful and in honour clear' is printed in gold on the blue enamel border. Members who have recieved this honour are entitled to use the suffix CH.

Current holders include physicist Stephen Hawking, composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle and actor Paul Scofield

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