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Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry within the British honours system and was established in 1917. The motto of the Order is For God and the Empire.

The order has five grades, the top two of which are knightly (post-nominals in parantheses):

There is an related British Empire Medal (BEM) which is no longer awarded in the United Kingdom, but is still awarded by some Commonwealth countries.

The Order is limited to 120 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 845 Knights and Dames Commanders, and 8960 Commanders. Also, no more than 858 Officers and 1464 Members may be appointed per year.

The insignia:

Although most of the recipients are British or from certain other Commonwealth countries, the honour is occasionally awarded to foreign nationals. Such a recipient is unable to use the appellation "Sir" unless he subsequently becomes a subject of the British monarch (as in the cases of Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Sir Jean Paul Getty, Jr).

Notable foreign recipients include:

See also: