The Orders of Chivalry are a means whereby the Sovereign may bestow an honour on his or her subjects, either as a mark of personal favour or at the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
Originally the fusion of knightly and religious ideals, brought together by the Crusades, the Orders of Chivalry were founded by European kings as a means of binding their great nobles to the royal cause as Companions of the King'.
In Great Britain the older Orders of Chivalry (Garter, Thistle, Bath, St Michael and St George, the Royal Victorian and the British Empire) all carry the honour of knighthood.
Complete Name, Ranks / Letters
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight (KG), Lady (LG)
The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Knight (KT), Lady (LT)
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GCB), Knight/Dame Commander (KCB/DCB), Companion (CB)
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GCMG), Knight/Dame Commander (KCMG/DCMG), Companion (CMG)
The Distinguished Service Order, Companion (DSO) - plus bars
The Royal Victorian Order, Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight/Dame Commander (KCVO/DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO), Member (MVO)
The Order of Merit, Member (OM)
The Imperial Service Order, ISO
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE), Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), Member (MBE)
The Order of the Companions of Honour, Companion (CH)