Grant of Breast Badge
In the year 1627, in the reign of King Charles I, it was moved that Knights Bachelor might be allowed a distinctive riband and badge. The matter was referred to and favourably reported upon by the Heralds' College ( College of Arms ) and the Attorney General received a command from the King concerning it. Owing to the Civil War, which shortly afterwards arose in the kingdom, His Majesty's intentions do not appear to have been carried into effect.
The lack of insignia caused concern, particularly in parts of the Empire where decorations were frequently worn. Sir William Bull, the first Registrar of the Imperial Society, made enquiries about insignia for Knights Bachelor before the First World War. On the 19th May 1914, he told the Society's Council: ‘I believe… that by this time next year we shall be wearing a star and badge'.
Alas, the Great War intervened and it was not until the early 20's that a petition was made to HM King George V, who gave authority by Royal Warrant dated 21 April 1926 for a breast badge to be worn. After discussion with the Royal Mint a further Royal Warrant was issued in 1933 to authorise a smaller version; both variations may be currently worn.
Grant of Neck Badge
In 1973 HM Queen Elizabeth II extended the insignia by granting that a neck badge, of smaller size than the breast badge, might be worn. This can be worn in addition (except with morning coat) to the breast badge and also has the great advantage that when a Knight Bachelor is wearing uniform, he has a ribbon and badge to show his status. A miniature badge may also be worn on suitable occasions. The neck badge is now presented by the Sovereign to the Knight Bachelor at the time of his investiture. The breast badge and miniature are purchased later if required.
By Royal Warrant of December 1998 Knights Bachelor may now wear both their neck badge and breast badge at the same time rather than as alternatives, in appropriate dress. This brings Knights Bachelor into line with knights of the Statutory Orders.
Lady's BroochThe lady's brooch, which may be worn by wives and daughters of members of the Society, can be purchased in diamonds or gold via the Clerk to the Council. HM The Queen and HRH The Princess Royal have examples of this lovely jewel. Other items bearing the Society's badge, such as cufflinks, are available. These and replacement insignia of a Knight Bachelor may also be obtained through the Society's office.
Button Hole Rosette
Some years ago Knights Bachelor asked that, as with certain continental awards, a lapel rosette should be available for them to wear on occasions when other insignia such as the neck badge or breast badge were inappropriate. Thus in 2001, the ISKB rosette was designed and is sent to all new Members. This idea has now, in 2007, been extended to the Order of the British Empire and other Orders may follow suit.