Originally Posted by holagirl56
Its a special title that the British have traditionally given throughout the history of the Empire. Brief description is below...
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry within the British honours system and was established in 1917 by George V. The motto of the Order is For God and the Empire.
The order has five grades, the top two of which are knightly (post-nominals in parentheses):
Knight/ Dame Grand Cross (GBE)
Knight/ Dame Commander (KBE/DBE)
Commander of Order (CBE)
Officer of the Order (OBE)
Member of the Order (MBE)
There is an related British Empire Medal (BEM) which is no longer awarded in the United Kingdom, but is still awarded by some Commonwealth countries.
The Order is limited to 100 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 845 Knights and Dames Commanders, and 8960 Commanders. Also, no more than 858 Officers and 1464 Members may be appointed per year.
The order has a chapel in the basement of St Paul's Cathedral; but it holds its great services upstairs in the main body of the cathedral.