The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals' personal bravery, achievement, or service to the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories. The system consists of three types of award – honours, decorations and medals:
Honours are used to recognise merit in terms of achievement and service;
Decorations tend to be used to recognise specific deeds;
Medals are used to recognise service on a particular operation or in a specific theatre, long and/or valuable service, and/or good conduct.
Appointments to the various orders and awards of other honours are usually published in the London Gazette.