Companion of Honour Recipients

by Sylviastel | created - 18 Jun 2014 | updated - 01 Jan 2019 | Public

Companion of Honour is one of Britain's highest honors even above Knighthood or Damehood. Only 65 living recipients of this Honour at a given time.

1. Winston Churchill

Writer | Matinee Theater

Born in Blenheim Palace, the residence of his grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father was the Duke's third son, Lord Randolph Churchill. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was the daughter of an American financier.

After passing through famous English public schools such as Harrow, he went on ...

3. Hall Caine

Writer | The Eternal City

Novelist and dramatist Hall Caine, though largely forgotten now, was a hugely popular writer in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Born Thomas Henry Hall Caine on May 14, 1853, in Runcorn, Cheshire, England, his father was a Manx Man who moved to Liverpool, where he apprenticed as a ship's ...

4. Maggie Smith

Actress | Gosford Park

One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor ...

5. John Jowett

Writer | There Was a Young Lady

Author and character actor

7. Stanley Bruce

Writer | Give Me Action

Stanley Bruce was born on April 15, 1883 in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Stanley Melbourne Bruce. He was a writer, known for Give Me Action (1930). He was married to Ethel Dunlop Anderson. He died on August 25, 1967 in London, England.

9. Frederick Delius

Soundtrack | Crush

Frederick Delius was born on January 29, 1862 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England as Fritz Theodor Albert Delius. He was married to Helene Jelka Rosen. He died on June 10, 1934 in Grez-sur-Loing, Seine-et-Marne, France.

10. Margaret MacMillan

Writer | Paris 1919: Un traité pour la paix

Margaret MacMillan was born on December 23, 1943 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as Margaret Olwen MacMillan. She is a writer, known for Paris 1919: Un traité pour la paix (2009), Extraordinary Canadians (2011) and The Sunday Programme (1994).

12. Joseph Lyons

Glimpses of Australia

Joseph Lyons was born on September 15, 1879 in Stanley, Tasmania, Australia as Joseph Aloysius Lyons. He was married to Enid Burnell. He died on April 7, 1939 in Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

13. John Spender

Self | The Point of Origin

John Spender was born on December 2, 1935 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as John Michael Spender. He has been married to Catherine since 2011. He was previously married to Carla Zampatti.

14. Nancy Astor

Self | Royal Cavalcade

Nancy Astor was born on May 19, 1879 in Danville, Virginia, USA as Nancy Witcher Langhorne. She was married to Waldorf Astor and Robert Gould Shaw II. She died on May 2, 1964 in Grimsthorpe Castle, Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.

17. Frederick Marquis

Self | The Brains Trust

Frederick Marquis was born on August 23, 1883 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is known for his work on The Brains Trust (1955) and The General Election Results (1955). He died on December 14, 1964 in Arundel, West Sussex, England.

18. Henry Wood

Soundtrack | Naked Britain

Henry Wood was born on March 3, 1869 in London, England as Henry Joseph Wood. He was married to Muriel Ellen Greatrex and Olga Michailoff. He died on August 19, 1944 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England.

19. Godfrey Huggins

Self | A Queen Is Crowned

Godfrey Huggins was born on July 6, 1883 in Bexley, Kent, England as Godfrey Martin Huggins. He was married to Blanche Elizabeth Slatter. He died on May 8, 1971 in Salisbury, Rhodesia.

20. Clement Attlee

Self | Biography

Clement Attlee was one of Britain's most significant political figures. He was the leader of Britain's Labour Party from 1935-1955 and Deputy Prime Minister of the UK during the wartime coalition against Nazi Germany (1940-45). He won a landslide victory in the 1945 general election, defeating ...

21. H.D.G. Crerar

H.D.G. Crerar was born in 1888 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada as Henry Duncan Graham Crerar. He died on April 1, 1965 in Ottawa, Ontario.

22. Julian Amery

Self | The Complete Churchill

Julian Amery was born on March 27, 1919 in Chelsea, London, England as Harold Julian Amery. He is known for his work on The Complete Churchill (1992), Reputations (1979) and Panorama (1953). He was married to Catherine Macmillan. He died on September 3, 1996.

24. Hastings Ismay

Self | Friends of Mr. Churchill

Hastings Ismay was born on June 21, 1887 in Naini Tal, India as Hastings Lionel Ismay. He died on December 17, 1965 in Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

25. Archibald Hall

Archibald Hall was born on June 17, 1924 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He died on September 16, 2002 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.

26. George Gibson

Self | The Glory of Their Times

George Gibson was born on July 22, 1880 in London, Ontario, Canada as George C. Gibson. He died on January 25, 1967 in London.

27. Vita Sackville-West

Writer | A Note of Explanation

Victoria Mary Sackville-West was born on 9th March 1892 at Knole in Kent, her family's ancestral home. Her family was both aristocratic, (they held the title of Earl of Dorset), and literary. Two of her ancestors, Thomas Sackville (1536-1608), and Charles Sackville (1638-1706) were distinguished ...

29. David Cecil

Self | An Evening with...

David Cecil was born on April 19, 1902 in Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England as Edward Christian David Gascoyne-Cecil. He is known for his work on An Evening with... (1968), Who Said That? (1955) and Take It or Leave It (1964). He died on January 1, 1986 in Cranborne, Dorset, England.

30. Stafford Cripps

Self | The Balance

Stafford Cripps was born on April 24, 1889 in London, England as Richard Stafford Cripps. He is known for his work on The Balance (1947). He was married to Isobel Swithinbank. He died on April 21, 1952 in Zurich, Switzerland.

31. Robert Gordon Menzies

Self | The Queen in Australia

Robert Gordon Menzies was born on December 20, 1894 in Jeparit, Victoria, Australia. He is known for his work on The Queen in Australia (1954), British Pathé News (1910) and A Queen Is Crowned (1953). He was married to Pattie Maie Menzies. He died on May 15, 1978 in Malvern, Melbourne, ...

33. Herbert Morrison

Self | Longines Chronoscope

Herbert Morrison was born on January 3, 1888 in London, England as Herbert Stanley Morrison. He is known for his work on Longines Chronoscope (1951), This Week (1956) and Panorama (1953). He died on March 6, 1965.

34. E.M. Forster

Writer | Howards End

E.M. Forster was born on January 1, 1879 in London, England as Edward Morgan Forster. He was a writer, known for Howards End (1992), A Room with a View (1985) and The Machine Stops (2009). He died on June 7, 1970 in Coventry, Warwickshire, England.

35. Benjamin Britten

Soundtrack | Moonrise Kingdom

Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England as Edward Benjamin Britten. He is known for his work on Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Machine (2013) and Mr. Nobody (2009). He died on December 4, 1976 in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

37. R.A. Butler

Self | Reputations

R.A. Butler was born on December 9, 1902 in India as Richard Austen Butler. He was married to Sydney Elizabeth Courtauld. He died on March 8, 1982.

38. W. Somerset Maugham

Writer | Quartet

Popular British novelist, playwright, short-story writer and the highest-paid author in the world in the 1930s, Somerset Maugham graduated in 1897 from St. Thomas' Medical School and qualified as a doctor, but abandoned medicine after the success of his first novels and plays. During World War I he...

39. Henry Moore

Art_department | The Pythoness

Spencer Moore was born on July 30th, 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire, England. He was an English sculptor and artist. Moore is known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures usually of the female body and other public works of art, many of which are located around the world. He founded the ...

41. Thomas Beecham

Soundtrack | The Red Shoes

Thomas Beecham was born on April 29, 1879 in St. Helens, Merseyside, England. He is known for his work on The Red Shoes (1948), Atonement (2007) and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). He was married to Shirley Hudson, Betty Humby-Beecham and Utica Celestia Welles. He died on March 8, 1961 in London, ...

42. Osbert Sitwell

Writer | A Place of One's Own

Osbert Sitwell was born on December 6, 1892 in London, England as Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell. He was a writer, known for A Place of One's Own (1945), Mystery and Imagination (1966) and Between the Wars (1973). He died on May 4, 1969 in Montegufoni, Italy.

43. Kenneth Clark

Writer | Civilisation

Kenneth Clark was born on July 13, 1903 in London, England as Kenneth Mackenzie Clark. He was a writer, known for Civilisation (1969), Carved in Ivory (1976) and The Lively Arts (1969). He was married to Nolwen de Janzé and Elizabeth Macgregor Martin. He died on May 21, 1983 in Hythe, Kent, England.

44. Tunku Abdul Rahman

Self | Pemasyhuran Kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu

Tunku Abdul Rahman was born on February 8, 1903 in Alor Setar, Kedah, British Malaya. He was married to Sharifah Rodziah binti Saiyid Alwi Barakbah. He died on December 6, 1990 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

48. Patrick Blackett

Self | The Brains Trust

Patrick Blackett was born on November 18, 1897 in Kensington, London, England as Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett. He is known for his work on The Brains Trust (1955) and The Brian Connell Interview (1970). He died on July 13, 1974 in London.

49. Emanuel Shinwell

Self | Reputations

Emanuel Shinwell was born on October 18, 1884 in Spitalfields, London, England. He is known for his work on Reputations (1979), Network (1974) and Scotland's Story (1984). He died on May 8, 1986.

50. Graham Greene

Writer | The Fallen Idol

Graham Greene was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century and his influence on the cinema and theatre was enormous. He wrote five plays and almost all of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Ministry of Fear" and "The End of the Affair", have been brought to the screen. A superb ...

51. Mortimer Wheeler

Actor | Men, Women and Clothes

Mortimer Wheeler was born on September 10, 1890 in Glasgow, Scotland as Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler. He was an actor, known for Men, Women and Clothes (1957), Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? (1952) and An Evening with... (1968). He was married to Kim Norfolk (née Collingridge), Mavis Cole and Tessa ...

54. Harold Holt

Self | This Day Tonight

Harold Holt was born on August 5, 1908 in Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia as Harold Edward Holt. He is known for his work on This Day Tonight (1967), The Presidential Tour (1966) and Four Corners (1961). He died on December 17, 1967 in Portsea, Victoria, Australia.

55. Patrick Gordon Walker

Self | Panorama

Patrick Gordon Walker was born on April 7, 1907 in Worthing, Sussex, England as Patrick Chrestien Gordon Walker. He is known for his work on Panorama (1953), This Week (1956) and 1964 General Election (1964). He was married to Audrey Muriel Rudolf. He died on December 2, 1980 in London, England.

56. Adrian Boult

Music_department | Lawrence of Arabia

Adrian Boult was born on April 8, 1889 in Chester, Cheshire, England. He is known for his work on Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Scoop (2006) and Quatermass II (1955). He died on February 23, 1983 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.

57. John McEwen

Self | Toki no hito

John McEwen was born on March 29, 1900 in Chiltern, Victoria, Australia. He was married to Mary Eileen Byrne and Anne Mills McLeod. He died on November 20, 1980 in Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria.

58. John Barbirolli

Soundtrack | Bronson

John Barbirolli was born on December 2, 1899 in Bloomsbury, London, England as Giovanni Battista Barbirolli. He is known for his work on Bronson (2008), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Husbands and Wives (1992). He was married to Evelyn Rothwell and Marjorie Parry. He died on July 29, 1970 in ...

59. A.P. Herbert

Writer | House by the River

English novelist and essayist Alan Patrick Herbert was born in London, England, in 1890. An Oxford graduate, he served in the Royal Navy in World War I and took part in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in Turkey, which resulted in heavy casualties and a resounding defeat for the Allied forces. He ...

60. Kuan Yew Lee

Self | Fatal Reaction: Singapore

Kuan Yew Lee was born on September 16, 1923 in Singapore as Harry Lee Kuan Yew. He is known for his work on Fatal Reaction: Singapore (1996), 60 Minutes (1968) and Around the World in 80 Gardens (2008). He was married to Kwa Geok Choo. He died on March 23, 2015 in Outram, Singapore.

61. Frederick Ashton

Actor | The Tales of Hoffmann

The founding father of British ballet, he developed the "English style" of classical dancing. He saw Anna Pavlova dance in 1917, which inspired him to a lifetime in ballet. He studied in London with Léonide Massine and Marie Rambert. He joined the Vic-Wells ballet, which later became the Royal ...

62. Sybil Thorndike

Actress | Stage Fright

This distinguished theatrical tragedienne will be remembered forever if only for the fact George Bernard Shaw wrote his classic "Saint Joan" work specifically for her. Her over six-decade career allowed for a gallery of sterling, masterful portrayals, both classic and contemporary, performing all ...

64. Arthur Bliss

Composer | Seven Waves Away

Arthur Bliss was born on August 2, 1891 in London, England. He is known for his work on Seven Days from Now (1957), Christopher Columbus (1949) and Things to Come (1936). He was married to Gertrude Hoffmann. He died on March 28, 1975 in London.

65. Joseph Luns

Self | TV Privé

Joseph Luns is known for his work on TV Privé (1974), In de hoofdrol (1960) and NDR Talk Show (1979).

66. Peter Medawar

Self | The Levin Interviews

Peter Medawar was born on February 28, 1915 in Petrópolis, Brazil. He died on October 2, 1987 in Camden, London, England.

67. Jean Monnet

Self | Town Meeting of the World

Jean Monnet was born on November 9, 1888 in Cognac, Charente, France. He is known for his work on Town Meeting of the World (1963) and CBS Reports (1959). He died on March 16, 1979 in Paris, France.

68. Arnold Goodman

Self | The Richard Dimbleby Lecture

Arnold Goodman was born on August 21, 1913 as Arnold Abraham Goodman. He died on May 12, 1995.

69. Herbert Howells

Self | Omnibus

Herbert Howells was born on October 17, 1892 in Lydney, Gloucestershire, England as Herbert Norman Howells. He died on February 23, 1983 in London, England.

70. John Piper

Production_designer | Theatre Night

John Piper was born on December 13, 1903 in Epsom, Surrey, England as John Egerton Christmas Piper. He was a production designer and costume designer, known for Theatre Night (1957), Music for You (1951) and The Turn of the Screw (1959). He was married to Myfanwy Piper and Eilenn Holding. He died ...

71. Duncan Sandys

Self | This Week

Duncan Sandys was born on January 24, 1908 in Manor House, Sandford Orcas, Dorset, England as Duncan Edwin Sandys. He is known for his work on This Week (1956), Report (1969) and The Eamonn Andrews Show (1964). He was married to Marie-Claire Schmitt and Diana Churchill. He died on November 26, 1987...

74. William Whitelaw

Self | Thatcher: The Downing Street Years

William Whitelaw was born on June 28, 1918 in Nairn, Scotland as William Stephen Ian Whitelaw. He is known for his work on Thatcher: The Downing Street Years (1993), A Week in Politics (1982) and TV Eye (1978). He was married to Celia Sprot. He died on July 1, 1999 in Penrith, Cumbria, England.

75. Quintin Hogg

Self | Camera Three

Quintin Hogg was born on October 9, 1907 in London, England as Quintin McGarel Hogg. He was an actor, known for Camera Three (1955), Face Your Image (1974) and This Week (1956). He was married to Deirdre Shannon and Mary Martin. He died on October 11, 2001 in London.

76. Max Perutz

Self | The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Was held as a prisoner war in a Canadian camp during World War II.

78. John Diefenbaker

Self | Schwierigkeiten beim Zeigen der Wahrheit?

John George Diefenbaker was born in Neustadt, Ontario, to William Thomas Diefenbaker and Mary Florence Bannerman. He had one younger brother, Elmer Clive Diefenbaker. Throughout most of his early career, Diefenbaker served in the Canadian Army during World War I, but he left due to injuries. In ...

79. Frederick Elwyn Jones

Self | Wogan

Frederick Elwyn Jones was born on October 24, 1909 in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales. He is known for his work on Wogan (1982), Forty Minutes (1981) and The Struggle for Democracy (1989). He was married to Pearl Binder. He died on December 4, 1989 in Kemp Town, Brighton, Sussex, England.

80. Edward Short

Self | Election 70

Edward Short is known for his work on Election 70 (1970), Election 74 (1974) and Election 74 (1974).

81. Malcolm Fraser

Self | The Norman Gunston Show

Malcolm Fraser was born on May 21, 1930 in Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as John Malcolm Fraser. He is known for his work on The Norman Gunston Show (1975), The Don Lane Show (1975) and We Fight (1982). He was married to Tamie Fraser. He died on March 20, 2015 in Victoria.

82. John Gielgud

Actor | Arthur

Born in London, England, John Gielgud trained at Lady Benson's Acting School and RADA, London. Best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theater, he first played Hamlet at the age of 26. He worked under the tutelage of Lilian Bayliss with friend and fellow performer Laurence Olivier and other ...

83. Barbara Wootton

Self | Thinking Aloud

Barbara Wootton was born on April 14, 1897 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England as Barbara Frances Adam. She is known for her work on Thinking Aloud (1984), Women of Our Century (1984) and These Twenty-Five Years (1977). She was married to George Wright and Jack Wootton. She died on July 11, 1988 ...

84. Denis Healey

Self | Denis Healey: The Best Prime Minister Labour Never Had?

Denis Healey was born on August 30, 1917 in Mottingham, Kent, England as Denis Winston Healey. He is known for his work on Denis Healey: The Best Prime Minister Labour Never Had? (2015), This Question of Pressures (1969) and Saturday Live (1985). He was married to Edna Healey. He died on October 3,...

85. Michael Tippett

Soundtrack | Akenfield

Michael Tippett was born on January 2, 1905 in London, England as Michael Kemp Tippett. He is known for his work on Akenfield (1974), New Year (1991) and The Midsummer Marriage (1984). He died on January 9, 1998 in London.

86. Peter Thorneycroft

Self | TV Eye

Peter Thorneycroft is known for his work on TV Eye (1978), Politics What's it all About? (1978) and Panorama (1953).

89. Frederick Sanger

Self | Face to Face: Fred Sanger

Frederick Sanger was born on August 13, 1918 in Rendcomb, Gloucestershire, England. He was married to Margaret Joan Howe. He died on November 19, 2013 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.

90. Ninette de Valois

Actress | The Female Swindler

It has been rightly suggested that Dame Ninette de Valois is one of the most important women of the century. It was due to her drive and ambition that the modern English ballet was created. In that respect she changed history single handed. Born in Ireland, young Ninette (her stage name was her ...

91. Peter Carrington

Self | Thatcher: The Downing Street Years

Lord Peter Carrington was born in 1919. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and was inducted into the House of Lords in 1940 as a hereditary peer. He served in World War II. After the war, he got active in politics, serving as a junior minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, then the Ministry of...

92. Lucian Freud

Actor | Much Too Shy

Lucian Freud was born on December 8, 1922 in Berlin, Germany as Lucian Michael Freud. He was an actor, known for Much Too Shy (1942), Imagine (2003) and Small Gestures in Bare Rooms (2010). He was married to Caroline Blackwood and Kathleen Garman Epstein. He died on July 20, 2011 in London, England.

93. Steven Runciman


Steven Runciman was born on July 7, 1903 as James Cochran Stevenson Runciman. He is known for his work on Mastermind (1972), Crusades (1995) and The Churchills (1996). He died on November 1, 2000.

94. Sacheverell Sitwell

Self | Edith Sitwell

Sacheverell Sitwell was born on November 15, 1897 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. He was married to Georgia Doble. He died on October 1, 1988 in Towcester, Northamptonshire, England.

95. Pierre Trudeau

Writer | Reason Over Passion

Pierre Trudeau was born Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau on October 18, 1919 in Montreal, Quebec. He was the son of Charles-Émile Trudeau and Grace Elliott. Trudeau had an older sister and a younger brother, Suzette and Charles Jr.

Trudeau's father died when Pierre was 15. After that, ...

96. Hugh Casson

Evil Under the Sun

Hugh Casson was born on May 23, 1910 in 4 Grossfield Road, London, England as Hugh Maxwell Casson. He is known for his work on Evil Under the Sun (1982), A Hundred Years Old (1938) and Jackanory (1965). He was married to Margaret Macdonald Troup. He died on August 15, 1999 in London.

97. Philip Larkin

Writer | On the Margin

English poet. His father Sydney was City Treasurer of Coventry. Philip was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry. By the age of 16 he was already having poetry published in the school magazine, The Coventrian. In 1940 he went to St. John's College, Oxford, to study English. On graduating (...

98. Keith Joseph

Self | The London Programme

Keith Joseph was born on January 17, 1918 in Marylebone, London, England as Keith Sinjohn Joseph. He is known for his work on The London Programme (1975), Midweek (1972) and Panorama (1953). He was married to Yolanda Victoria Sheriff and Hellen Louise Guggenheimer. He died on December 10, 1994 in ...

99. Sydney Brenner

Self | Imagined Worlds

Sydney Brenner was born on January 13, 1927 in Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa. He was married to May Covitz Balkind. He died on April 5, 2019 in Singapore.

100. Peter Scott

Writer | Vanishing Wilderness

Peter Scott was born on September 14, 1909 in London, England as Peter Markham Scott. He was an actor and writer, known for Vanishing Wilderness (1974), Sunday Story (1961) and Look (1955). He was married to Phillipa Scott and Elizabeth Jane Howard. He died on August 29, 1989 in Bristol, England.

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