The Queen chooses the recipients on the advice of the Prime Minister, to whom recommendations are sent either by government ministers or by members of the public. The honors are published in the official Crown newspaper, the London Gazette.
Private nominations, made by individuals or by representatives of organisations to the Prime Ministers’ Office, make up about a quarter of all recommendations.
Honorary awards for foreign nationals are recommended by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. A number of these orders for chivalry are made after a personal decision made by the Queen.
The honor of knighthood comes from the days of medieval chivalry, as does the method used to confer the knighthood: the accolade, or the touch of a sword by the Sovereign.
Although Knights Bachelor do not comprise an order of chivalry, knighthood is a dignity which has its origins in Britain in Saxon times. They are styled “Sir” (except for clergymen who do not receive the accolade) and their wives “Lady.”
Women receiving the honour are styled “Dame” but do not received the accolade.
About Professor Markesinis
Basil Markesinis is an honorary QC and holds doctorates or honorary doctorates from (in alphabetical order) Athens, Cambridge, Ghent, Munich, Oxford, and Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne). After holding successively the chairs of European Law and then Comparative Law at the University of Oxford, where he founded the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law, he then moved to University College London to the Chair of Common and Civil Law, which he holds simultaneously with the (part-time but tenured) Jamail Regents Chair at The University of Texas at Austin.
He has authored or co-authored 26 books and more than 100 legal articles, which have been published in leading law journals in America, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands. He has lectured extensively in 25 different law faculties including Cornell, Ghent, Leiden, Michigan, Munich, Paris I, Paris II, Rome, and Siena, where he has held visiting professorships. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Foreign Fellow of the Royal Belgian and the Royal Netherlands Academies, a Corresponding Fellow of the Academy of Athens and a Member of the American Law Institute.
In 2002 he was appointed Conseiller Scientifique du Premier Président de la Cour de Cassation (France) on matters of European law. He has received high decorations for his work on European law and integration from the Presidents of France (twice), Germany (three times), Greece, and Italy (three times). In 2002 he was promoted by the President of Italy to the highest rank of the Italian Order of Merit, Knight Grand Cross, while the President of Germany awarded him the insignia of Knight Commander of the Order of Merit, in May 2003. This past spring he was elected to the French Academy and was also awarded the rank of Commander in the Order of the Legion d’ Honneur by the French Government.