The British Armed Forces recognise outstanding personal achievements by giving individuals from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army various awards and decorations.
Medals, ribbons and emblems awarded by HM The Queen are only permitted to be worn by the recipient. Family are permitted to wear loved ones medals but must wear them on the right, not left. Ribbons can be worn without the medals themselves, apart from The Orders of the Garter and Thistle.
Ribbons are to be worn over the left breast pocket button in the centre of the pocket. The ribbons are worn in rows with the most senior medal worn nearest the jacket lapel or front buttons, and in the top row if multiple rows are worn. The number of ribbons worn in a row depends on the width of the breast pocket, however, if the uniform has no breast pocket then the number of ribbons worn must be no more than five. If there is an incomplete row of ribbons, and there are already two or more rows worn, then the top row must be left incomplete and must be worn centrally. Each row of ribbons should be approximately 3 mm apart. Ribbons worn are to be stitched to the garment instead of mounted.
Orders, decorations and medals are to be worn using an unseen brooch and on the left breast. If wearing a Full Dress tunic then they are usually placed in the middle, between the first and second buttons from the collar. Medals should be worn to show the Sovereign’s head.
Orders, Decorations and Medals are to be worn at the following occasions:
- State Occasions
- Royal Occasions
- Guards in London
- Military Funerals
- Guards on Royal Residences
- Guards of Honour
- Guards in Edinburgh
- Ceremonial and Sovereign’s Parades
- Parades incorporating a Religious Service
Orders, Decorations and Medals are worn on Full Dress, Frockcoat and No 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 and 11 Dress. They are not to be worn on greatcoats and No 8 Combat Dress. Orders, Decorations and Medals are also not to be worn on operational or protective clothing.
To view our range of medals and medal ribbons click here