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British Commonwealth State Orders - Knight Bachelor's Badge

Obverse View

Knight Bachelor's Badge obverse view

About this award

The title Knight Bachelor dates from the 9th century when King Henry III introduced it to signify a battelier (one who fought in battle). It remains the only honour still not available to women.

The Knight Bachelor's Badge was instituted by King George V on 21 April 1926 in response to a request from the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelors who wished to have a distinctive badge denoting their rank.

Until 1996, when the New Zealand Order of Merit was introduced, many New Zealanders were made Knights Bachelor. Recipients are entitled to use the title ‘Sir' however the award carries no post-nominal letters.

Originally only a neck badge was allowed to be worn. In 1998 Her Majesty The Queen signed an amending Royal Warrant allowing Knight Bachelors to wear both a neck badge and breast badge. In New Zealand the neck badge is received at an Investiture while the breast badge needs to be purchased.  The neck badge is worn suspended round the neck by a ribbon in the same manner as the neck badge of an Order and the breast badge on the left side of the coat like the star of an Order.

About the ribbon

The 38 mm wide ribbon is scarlet with broad yellow borders.

Royal Warrant

British State Honours are instituted under Royal Warrants signed by the reigning Sovereign at the time the Order or Honour was created. More information on British State Honours can be viewed here.


Most State Honours do not have separate Regulations. Instructions for the administration of the Order or Honour are usually included in the Royal Warrant. The composite document containing the Royal Warrant and Instructions is usually referred to as the Statutes of the Order.

Clasps and Bars

There are no clasps or bars for this award.

Order of Wear

The position of the Knight Bachelor's Badge in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here. Noting that the badge is worn as a neck badge and breast badge rather than in a medal group.


The above information on the Knight Bachelor's Badge has been obtained from the 'Order of Wear - Orders, Decoration and Medals in New Zealand' dated 1 April 2008 signed by His Excellency The Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand, and from the Medal Yearbook 2009, p.68.