The honours system is a centuries old way of rewarding people for years of dedication and selfless service, particularly if they’re retired bankers, civil servants or generals.
In recent years, many of the honours have been modified to reflect changes in society, with the CBE being replaced by the CBI, for services to industry, the MBE by the BSE, for services to the cattle industry, and the OBE by the OBE-WAN KEN-OBE, for services to intergalactic exploration.
Pensioners are most likely to be honoured for contributions to the community, such as school crossing patrols, running a rural post office or planting trees in unusual places, especially if their previous career involved banking, the civil service or owning a batman.
Certain honours are in the sole gift of the monarch, with the Order of the Garter being awarded to retired burlesque dancers, the Order of the Gristle to retired Scottish butchers and the Order of St Michael to retired employees of Marks & Spencer.
Knighthoods and damehoods are usually awarded on a completely random basis and the recipients are generally known as ‘hoodies’.