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The Birthday Honours, in some Commonwealth realms, mark the reigning monarch's official birthday by granting various individuals appointment into national or dynastic orders or the award of decorations and medals. The honours are presented by the monarch or a viceregal representative. The Birthday Honours are one of two annual honours lists, along with the New Year Honours. All royal honours are published in the relevant gazette.
Honours have been awarded with few exceptions on the sovereign's birthday since at least 1860, during the reign of Queen Victoria. There was no Birthday Honours list issued in 1876, which brought "a good deal of disappointment" and even rebuke for the Ministry of Defence. A lengthy article in the Broad Arrow newspaper forgave the Queen and criticised Gathorne Hardy for neglecting to award worthy soldiers with the Order of the Bath: "With the War Minister all general patronage of this description rests, and if Mr. Hardy has not seen fit to mark the occasion in the usual way, he alone can be blamed or praised or having neglected to follow in the beaten track of his predecessors." At the same time, it was noted that the Queen appeared to have issued her own honours by appointing the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught to be her personal aides-de-camp and the ailing King George of Hanover to be a general in Her Majesty's Army.
The birthday of her successor, King Edward VII (r. 1901–1910), fell on 9 November 1901. After 1908, the monarch's official birthday in the United Kingdom was moved to the first, second, or third Saturday in June. Other Commonwealth realms celebrate the official birthday of the monarch on different dates (generally late May or early June); honours are awarded accordingly.
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