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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 06:47 GMT
Welsh honours system is proposed
Joe Calzaghe and Shirley Bassey
Could Joe Calzaghe Dame Shirley Bassey be in line for an honour?
People in Wales could be honoured by their own country under proposals being considered by the Welsh Assembly Government, the BBC has learned.

Ministers are looking at ways of recognising the achievements of Welsh people who excel in their chosen field nationally and internationally.

The system would be separate from the present UK honours system.

Opposition AMs have given the scheme a cautious welcome but would like recognition for ordinary people too.

Welsh names from the entertainment world have regularly featured in the Queen's Honours, with Sir Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey among those with the international recognition factor.

People who have won awards in other fields, such as Sports Personality of the Year Joe Calzaghe, and Cardiff University professor Sir Martin Evans, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine, could be other potential honours contenders.

It could be something like the Order of St David's - we could put it out to the public vote to get a title
David Melding AM

The Welsh Conservatives have proposed a Welsh "Order of St David's" for some years, and say those who dedicate their lives to public service should be at the forefront of any honours.

David Melding AM said the Conservatives had said for some time there ought to be a Welsh order of chivalry.

"It could be something like the Order of St David's - we could put it out to the public vote to get a title," he told BBC Wales.

"The queen would bestow these honours as she does now, after following recommendations from the First Minister."

He said the list could be announced on St David's Day, adding: "I think they should be awarded in Wales, with an investiture in Cardiff Castle or Caernarfon Castle."

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