The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was formed in 1908 to uphold the dignity of the Knights Bachelor designation and keep a Register of all those granted the honour.

One of the most identifiable aspects of being part of this society is the insignia that all members wear.

What Is an Insignia?

An insignia is a badge of authority or honour that distinguishes different groups of people. Historically in the Knights Bachelor the lack of insignia had been a problem until 1926, when HM King George V gave authority via Royal Warrant for a breast badge to be worn by members.

Since then, the insignia of the Knights Bachelor has been extended and now includes a neck badge, a lady’s brooch, and a button hole rosette that should be available for members to wear on occasions where other forms of insignia aren’t appropriate.

When Is the Insignia Worn?

There are different circumstances when the insignia may be worn. Members of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor are entitled to wear their decorations at any function where it is considered fitting.

Modern-day members, like Sir Peter Birkett, can wear decorations as follows:

  • When an event requires them to wear full evening dress and decorations are included in the dress code, they may wear the badge on the left breast below the breast pocket
  • At a black tie event that specifically mentions decorations, they may wear the badge on the left breast below the breast pocket
  • On occasions like Remembrance Sunday where a lounge suit is required and decorations are fitting, a member may wear a neck badge on a ribbon under the collar
  • When a member is wearing an overcoat to an event they should mount full size orders, decorations and medals on a medal bar

The Importance of the Insignia

The insignia is a distinguishable mark that many members of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor wear with pride to this day.

By wearing the insignia, Imperial Society members are reminded of their duty and others are made aware of who they are and what they do.

Despite the insignia being introduced almost a hundred years ago, the lasting importance of what it means to members still lives on into the 21st century iteration of the Imperial Society.