Guidance on the Wearing of Insignia of Honours and Awards

The Insignia of Honours and Awards exist in two forms – for men and for ladies – in two sizes – full and miniature. Full size insignia are presented to recipients at the time of investiture. Recipients have the option to purchase miniatures at their own cost.

The insignia are worn at all State events, or when the host of the event considers it appropriate to do so. This is indicated by inserting at the bottom of the invitation card the words “Medals/Decorations”.

The following general guidance covers many of the common questions about the wearing of Insignia of Honours and Awards with civilian dress. Different rules may apply to the wearing of Insignia by members of the uniformed services and such persons should be guided by their service regulations or standing orders.

  • Insignia should be worn when the dress code on the invitation card indicates “Medals/Decorations”.

  • Full-size insignia should be worn at daytime functions and miniature insignia at evening events (after 6 p.m.).

  • Breast Stars & Badges are worn on the lower left breast. Holders of two breast stars/badges should wear the more senior one immediately above the junior star but always below the line of the breast handkerchief pocket.

  • Broad Sash Ribands are worn over the appropriate shoulder with the bow falling immediately below the opposite hip. Broad ribands are not worn over dinner jackets.

  • Neck Badges and Broaches are worn by men under the shirt collar so that the top of the badge hangs 2 cm (3/4 inch) below the knot and in front of the tie. The equivalent badge for ladies is a broach worn on the left breast. A person with two or more neck badges or broaches, for example, GBE and KCMG, should wear only one neck badge, normally the senior one (GBE) unless the occasion is specifically related to the junior Order.

  • Medals are worn on the left breast, approximately in line with the decorative buttonhole on the upper lapel of the coat. Where more than one medal is worn, the order of precedence is from the centre outwards to the shoulder. The medals should be worn close together with the ribbons just abutting and, ideally, mounted on a medal brooch or bar.

  • A person with a neck badge (or broach) and a medal may wear both.

  • Miniature insignia are worn on the left breast, never at the neck.

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