Knighthoods are not hereditary but more frequently conferred, compared to the grades of the peerage.
There are two types of knighthood conferred by the Sovereign: knights of various orders of chivalry, identified by the appropriate letters after the name (e.g. GCMG, GCVO, KCB), and knights bachelor, which in ordinary correspondence carry no letters after the name.
The recipient of a knighthood is allowed to use his title, which is conferred for life, and to attach the appropriate letters for knights of orders of chivalry after his name from the date of the announcement in the London Gazette (known as being ‘gazetted’). He does not have to wait for the accolade to be officially conferred upon him.
The rules for knights can vary depending on the order or whether the recipient has any other order or official function (for example if they are clergy or a peer).
What follows is a more general guide – for specific questions about styling, please contact us.