- Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the
British honours system. It refers to a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry. Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight, existing during the reign of King Henry III ( 1 October 1207– 16 November 1272), but they rank below knights in the various orders. There is no female equivalent and women deserving an honour of this rank are appointed Dames of the Order of the British Empire(DBE) instead.
It is generally awarded for public service; amongst its recipients are all male judges of the
High Court of England and Wales. It is possible to be a junior member of an order of knighthood and a Knight Bachelor without being a knight of that order; this situation has become rather common, especially among those recognised for achievements in entertainment. For instance, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir George Martin and Sir Alex Ferguson are "Commander of the Order of the British Empire" (CBE), and Sir Paul McCartneyis a "Member of the Order of the British Empire" (MBE), and thus none of them would normally be entitled to the honorific "Sir." However, all are also Knights Bachelor and thus each may preface his name with that title.
Honorifics and post-nominals
Like other knights, Knights Bachelor are styled "
Sir". Since they aren't knight of any order of chivalry, Knights Bachelor don't normally have a post-nominalto be rendered after their name. [cite web| url=http://www.honours.gov.uk/honours/chivalry.aspx |title=Orders of Chivalry |publisher=British Government |accessdate=2007-08-30] However, when the style "Sir" is awkward or incomplete due to a subsequent appointment recipients may sometimes use the word "Knight" or "Kt" (note the lowercase 't', which distinguishes it from "KT", the post-nominals of a Knight of the Thistle) after their name in formal documents to signify that they have the additional honour. This style is often adopted by Knights Bachelor who are also peers, baronets or knights of the various statutory orders (e.g., the Baronet Sir William Boulton, Bt, Kt). [ [http://www.iskb.co.uk/INFORMATION.htm Form of address of a Knight Bachelor] - Website of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor] [cite web |url=http://yesterdayssalad.wordpress.com/2006/12/23/word-of-the-day-bachelor-and-a-note-on-peerage/ |title=Word of the Day: Bachelor, and a note on peerage |publisher=Yesterdayssalad.com |accessdate=2007-08-30]
Until 1926 Knights Bachelor had no insignia which they could wear, but in that year King George V issued a Warrant authorising the wearing of a badge on all appropriate occasions. The Knights Bachelor badge may be worn on all appropriate occasions upon the left side of the coat or outer garment of those upon whom the degree of Knight Bachelor has been conferred. Measuring 2⅜ inches in length and 1⅜ inches in width, it is described in heraldic terms as follows:
Upon an oval medallion of
vermilion, enclosed by a scrolla cross-hilted sword belted and sheathed, pommelupwards, between two spurs, rowels upwards, the whole set about with the sword belt, all gilt.
In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II issued a further warrant authorising the wearing on appropriate occasions of a neck badge, slightly smaller in size, and in miniature. In 1988 a new certificate of authentication, a knight's only personal documentation, was designed by the
College of Arms.
Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor
Imperial Society of Knights Bachelorwas founded for the maintenance and consolidation of the Dignity of Knights Bachelor in 1908, and obtained official recognition from the Sovereign in 1912. The Society keeps records of all Knights Bachelor, in their interest.
Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood
* [http://www.iskb.co.uk/Insignia.htm Insignia of knight bachelors] - Website of the Imperial Society of Knight Bachelors
* [http://www.honours.gov.uk The UK Honours System] - Website UK Government
* [http://www.debretts.co.uk Debrett's]
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