Wearing of decorations
The wearing of decorations by Knights Bachelor
Knights Bachelor receive from HM The Queen a neck badge. It is attached to the wide investiture ribbon which is never worn again (except with some full dress military uniforms). It should be henceforth suspended from the miniature width (approx. half inch) collar provided in its box.
Breast badge: this is optional and at the Knight's expense and is a larger version of the neck badge. The present badge was adopted in 1933 but the previous larger design (1926) may still be worn. By Royal Warrant of December 1998 Knights Bachelor are permitted to wear both neck badge and breast badge at once, where appropriate (see below).
Knights Bachelor entitled to other neck badges or Order Stars usually wear the most senior of them, except on special occasions. For example, at a service reception or dinner of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor, it would be usual to wear the insignia of a Knight Bachelor.
Knights Bachelor and members of the various Orders of Chivalry and all persons who have been awarded Decorations and Medals may, should they so wish, wear their insignia on those occasions when the person responsible for a function deems it fitting for Decorations to be worn.
Decorations may be worn as follows:
1. FULL EVENING DRESS: The invitation will state ‘Evening Dress – Decorations'. A Knight Bachelor may wear his badge on the left breast, below the breast pocket, as an Order Star (a maximum of four different stars may be worn), and his neck badge suspended on a miniature width ribbon and hanging closely below the (white) tie. The Knight Bachelor badge may also be worn as a miniature, but only on a bar with one or more other miniatures. The only time when it is appropriate to wear the miniature badge alone is when neither the breast badge nor the neck badge is being worn. The miniature badge takes precedence before the badges of Companions and Commanders of the various Orders but is preceded by those of Knights of British Orders.
2. BLACK TIE (DINNER JACKET): The invitation will normally state: ‘Black Tie – Decorations' or 'Dinner Jacket - Decorations'. A Knight Bachelor may wear his badge on the left breast below the breast pocket as an Order Star (only one such badge or star may be worn with Dinner Jacket) and his neck badge suspended close below the (black) tie on a miniature width ribbon which goes under the collar. The Knight Bachelor badge may be worn as a miniature in the same manner as the Evening Dress (above).
3. MORNING DRESS: When decorations are prescribed with Morning Dress, a Knight Bachelor may wear his badge either on the left breast below the breast pocket as on Order Star (a maximum of four different stars may be worn) or alternatively as a neck badge on a ribbon of miniature width under the collar and hanging three-quarters of an inch below the knot of the tie. Other Orders (e.g. MBE, OBE) Decorations and Medals should be worn mounted full size on a medal bar.
4. LOUNGE SUIT: On occasions such as Remembrance Sunday services or regimental gatherings at which the wearing of Decorations has been requested with lounge suits, a Knight Bachelor may wear his neck badge on a miniature width ribbon under the collar, hanging three-quarters of an inch below the knot of the tie. The breast badge may not be worn with a lounge suit. During the day, other Orders, Decorations and Medals, mounted full size on a medal bar, may be worn. For evening events miniature medals may be worn in the same manner as with Evening Dress (above).
5. OVERCOATS: Neither the Breast Badge nor the neck badge should be worn; only those full size Orders, Decorations and Medals normally mounted on a medal bar, should be worn on an overcoat on the left hand side.
6. UNIFORM: FULL DRESS: A Knight Bachelor should wear his neck badge suspended from its ribbon and may wear his breast badge as an Order Star on the left breast, according to the regulations of the appropriate Service. His medal bar should not, of course, include the badge of a Knight Bachelor.
7. UNDRESS: Neither breast badges nor neck badges are worn but ribbons sewn to the jacket may include the full width ribbon of a Knight Bachelor, having precedence as in 1. above.
N.B The above advice is based on A Guide to the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals (Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood) and applies in the United Kingdom. In other realms of HM The Queen, local variations may apply.