Tolkien Gateway

Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivarly in the British honours system, and its most populous, with five classes in civil and military divisions.

Queen Elizabeth II appointed J.R.R. Tolkien a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours of 1 January 1972 "For services to English Literature".[1] Tolkien received the insignia of the Order at Buckingham Palace on 28 March.[2]

C.S. Lewis also had been named on the last list of honours earlier in December 1951, but he declined.[3]

Other recipients include actors Sirs Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Annette Crosbie, and Martin Jarvis.

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  1. "SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, p. 9" dated 1 January 1972, The London Gazette (accessed 21 October 2021)
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 334, (dated 30 March 1972)
  3. "The Life of C.S. Lewis Timeline", (accessed 21 October 2021)