It’s not the Queen who decides who to honour – it’s you


The Queen's Honours list is not just for famous people like Judy Murray, pictured recieving an OBE in November 2017. 

Terri Thomson explains how you can nominate someone deserving in your community for an MBE, OBE or CBE

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3rd January 2019 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

To honour means to celebrate or show great respect for someone.

How many times have you worked, interacted or just been aware of someone who goes the extra mile for no other reason than they know it will make a world of difference to someone, something or somewhere? Perhaps there may be no one else to go that mile.

How many times have you thought there should be something, some way of saying well done or just thank you, not only from you, but from everyone affected, or even from the whole nation?

Terri Thomson

Terri Thomson

Surprisingly there is a way, a much misunderstood way in which these extraordinary people can be thanked, celebrated and honoured. Twice yearly, in the Queen’s New Year and Birthday Honours lists, people who go that extra mile are celebrated and thanked by the nation. You may believe the famous names, sports people, and industry success stories that grab the headlines are what the honours system is about, but the reality is it is far greater than that.

Each person quietly working away, raising money or awareness, giving their free time, supporting communities, taking action that we would never have thought of and overcoming obstacles that would stop most of us in our tracks, deserves to be honoured.  

This recognition comes not from one person but from all, and the effect of this is immense. To have their actions noticed is gratifying and affirming to the individual but the effect this type of national applause can have on the focus of that person's efforts, on the charities and communities they support, is also really positive. Heightened awareness and greater involvement are just two of the bonuses generated by this recognition.    

Everyone, even the sports people and the champions of industry, are on the bi-annual honours list for one common reason – someone nominated them.

This is something anyone can do. All you need is a little basic information about the nominee: address, date of birth or at least the year of birth, and the reasons why they turned your head, made you stop and think, made you wonder why they haven’t had some recognition for the good they do day after day. 

If you know a remarkable person who deserves an honour, why not read more about nominating them. Or contact the honours team in Edinburgh. We can provide you with a handy and simple to complete form to keep you right, at [email protected]

Terri Thomson is Scottish Government's protocol and honours manager.