Order was instituted in 1917 by King George V to reward British and Allied subjects who had rendered services of a conspicuous character to the State and the Empire, now the Commonwealth. It has a Military and a Civil Division. The former being distinguished by the addition of a narrow stripe of pearl-grey to the center of the ribbon.
There is also a lapel pin available. The emblem gives recipients the opportunity to show in their day-to-day lives they have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for their contribution to society.
It is based on the badge of the Order, enclosed in a circle of ribbon of its colours of pink and grey. It is intended to be worn by those who have been appointed GBE, DBE, KBE, CBE, OBE, MBE or who hold the British Empire Medal. In total there are around 120,000 living in the UK and overseas. The emblems do not replace the badge and ribbon which will continue to be presented at the Investiture.
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