Companion of Honour
Companion of Honour CH
Instituted on 4 June 1917 the Order consists of the Sovereign and not more than 65 members (exclusive of honorary members - currently Lee Kuan Yew, Prof Amartya Sen, and Bernard Haitink).
It may be conferred on persons for having done conspicuous national service and for whom the distinction is deemed the most appropriate form of recognition. It is an honour pure and simple, with no title or classification of merit accompanying it, and carries no precedence.
The Badge of the Order consists of a gold medallion with representation of an oak tree and pendant from a branch a shield of the Royal Arms. On the dexter (right-hand side) there is a representation of a knight in armour mounted on a horse. The whole is set within a circle inscribed with the motto 'In action faithful and in honour clear'.
Members of the Order include Lucian Freud, Professor Stephen Hawking, Dame Janet Baker, Sir David Attenborough, David Hockney, Peter Brook, Sir John Major, Bridget Riley, Doris Lessing, Sir Colin Davis, Sir George Christie, Sir Denis Mahon, Sir Charles Mackerras, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen.