British authors who have received UK honours

To celebrate International Literacy Day on 8 September 2019, we look at some famous writers and novelists who have received a knighthood, damehood, CBE, OBE or MBE British honour.

Authors Writers Novelists with Knighthoods Damehoods CBEs OBEs MBEs

Authors and novelists who have received a knighthood or damehood

Since the 1800s, writers and novelists have been given recognition for their contribution to the world of literature through the reigning monarch’s Birthday and New Year honours.

Some of literature’s biggest names such as Sir Hall Caine (Gazette issue 32766) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Gazette issue 27494) were knighted during their lifetimes, while Dame Agatha Christie (Gazette issue 45262) also received a damehood in 1970.

The latest author to be knighted for his services to literature was Philip Pullman. The His Dark Materials author received a knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen in 2019 (Gazette issue 62507), following his CBE in 2004 (Gazette issue 57155).

Living authors with a knighthood or damehood from the Queen

Here is a list of notable living authors who have received a knighthood or damehood from Her Majesty the Queen for services to literature:

Former authors who received a knighthood or damehood

Here is a list of notable former authors who received a knighthood or damehood for services to literature:

Authors with British UK Honours

Living authors who have received British honours

Here is a list of notable living authors who have received a CBE, OBE or MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to literature:

*Alongside her damehood and CBE, Penelope Lively also received an OBE in 1989 (Gazette issue 51772)

**Michael Morpurgo also received an MBE in 1999 Birthday honours (Gazette issue 55513) “for services to Young People”

Former authors who have received British honours

Here is a list of notable former authors who received a CBE, OBE or MBE for services to literature:

***PD James, Baroness James of Holland Park also received life peerage in 1991 (Gazette issue 52448)

Authors who are members of the Order of the Companions of Honour

The Companion of Honour is an honour given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the arts, science, medicine or the government over a long period of time. It was founded by George V in 1917 and is limited to just 65 people at any one time.

There are currently three authors who are members of the Companion of Honour:

  • Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace (Gazette issue 62507)
  • Lady Antonia Fraser Mary Queen of Scots, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Gazette issue 62150)
  • JK Rowling OBE – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Gazette issue 61962)

Here are some notable former authors who were members of the Companion of Honour:

See also

What is the difference between a CBE, OBE, MBE and a knighthood?

Cricketers who have received UK honours from the Queen

Find out more

Nominate someone for an honour or award (Gov)

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