I've never really bothered about the UK Honours system, but yesterday a relative of Mrs. Lear got his CBE. Very pretty it is too.
It was the Holyrood Garden Party yesterday with the investiture beforehand. Fascinators everywhere, masses of ill-fitting ladies shoes, and rather good sandwiches.
Mrs. L's relative then had 16 for a private dinner in a venerable club (which was rather good) and a jolly evening was had by all. The lady on my right ( about to have her 40th birthday) was complaining bitterly that the people she was due to go on holiday with to a villa sleeping 16 had (she assured me) never had a days discord in 12 years of marriage, and had decided to split up and ruin their hokiday. The husband simply announced he didn't love her any more and left. As the wife was her friend, I opined that the wife and child could still come, but my neighbour refused to contemplate it.
Anyway, whilst being shown the CBE, I asked where the recipient's previous gong was.
" Oh," he said," They make you give them back"
And it's true. Unless you die clutching it, if you get a new one you have to give the old one back. The same applies to all orders.
This means, of course, that there is a huge saving on gongs.
Bit cheapskate I'd have said.