Orders, decoratiojns and medals that are worn suspended from straight ribands on the left breast must be worn in a horizontal line, and should be mounted for wear in one of two ways: ‘ordinary’ style, or ‘court’ style (sometimes also referred to as ‘royal’ style)

Ordinary Style

Utilizes a single ‘brooch-bar’, a metal bar to which the top part of each riband is attached with the medal hanging loosely.

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Medals must be arranged on the bar according to the ‘order of wear’. The senior award must be fully visible and the nearest the centre of the chest. Up to five mdals may be worn side-by-side without the medals overlapping. The bar itself must be unseen, although the need to ensure that medal rebands appear on the brooch-bar with no intervening gaps will usually mean that there is some slight but unavoidable overlapping if medals or decorations exceed the breadth of the riband itself.

Regulations for the Armed Forces state that not more than two-thirds of a riband should be covered byt he riband of an adjacent medal.

Each medal must be worn with its ‘obverse’ showing frontwards. (Obverse: Sovereign’s Head, ROyal Cypher, or otherwise a crown, coat of arms, or national flag.

Riband Length - Each riband, when mounted with its medal on the brooch-bar should measure not less than 32mm (1¼ins) from the top of the riband to the top of the suspension or to the topmost clasp. When two or more medals and decorations are to be worn they should be arranged so that their lowest points are horizontally in line. Service regulations recognise that in order to allow a taller decoration to be suspended from a 32mm length of riband, adjacent medals are likely to require ribands of longer measurement.

Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 36

Court Style

Medals mounted in the ‘court’ style are mounted together in a rigid group. Decorations and medals mounted in this fashion are secured so that they do not make contact with each other and consequently avoid being chipped and scratched. *wait, so it’s OK for the ‘ordinary’ style to chip the medals?

Each medal and its riband is mounted on to a buckram and cloth covered metal frame. The medal is held in position on the frame so that the riband measures 32mm from the medal suspension, or topmost clasp, to the top of the frame. The riband then passes down the back of the covered frame and round to the front where it is brought up underneath the medal and sewn so that the area of frame showing beneath the medal is entirely covered with the riband. The medal is then stitched firmly in to place through the riband.

Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 37

Bars and Clasps

A Bar is a full-width metal device worn on the riband of a decoration or medal awarded for gallantry, bravery, distinguished or long service to denote the additional award of a particular decoration or medal.

A Clasp is a full-width metal device which records the geographical area or zone of a campaign and/or the period of a campaign, or additional periods of service.