The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire


  • Order instituted on 4 June 1917 by King George V.
  • Order awarded for contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, public and non-combattant military service.
  • Order awarded in two Divisions: Civil and Military.
  • Order awarded in five classes: Knight or Dame Grand Cross - GBE, Knight Commander - KBE og Dame Commander - DBE, Commander - CBE, Officer - OBE and Member - MBE.
  • Collar was introduced in 1928 and is worn by Knights and Dames Grand Cross on formal occasions along with a mantle.
  • There are two types of the order. The first version is worn with badge appendants that depict an effigy of Britannia in the obverse medallion (1917 - 1937), the second version is worn with badge appendants which depict the portraits of King George V and Queen Mary in the obverse medallion (1937 - date).
  • Insignia of the I type:

  • Insignia of the II type:

Orders of Knighthood