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Royal Patrons and Honorary Fellows

Patron of the Linnean Society of London

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Honorary Members

Honorary Members, HonMLS, shall not exceed four, besides members of Royal Families as may express a wish to belong to the Society, and is given to a distinguished Personage who has made an outstanding and unique contribution to the biological sciences.

Our Current Honorary Members are:

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG FRS
HRH The Prince of Wales KG FRS

HRH The Princess Royal KG
His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Japan
HIH The Prince Hitachi of Japan

Baroness Young of Old Scone

Sir David F Attenborough OM FRS

His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Japan is recognized as an ichthyologist

HIH Prince Hitachi of Japan is recognised as a cell biologist who is involved in the comparative histology of human and lower vertebrate tumors. He is additionally Honorary Patron of the Japanese Association for the Protection of Birds.

Baroness Young of Old Scone is a member of the House of Lords and is currently the chief executive of health charity Diabetes UK. She was chief executive of the Environment Agency 2000 – 2008, and previously chair of English Nature, vice chairman of the BBC, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and of a number of local health authorities.

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is passionate about the environment, technology, agriculture, trade, and industry. He is a Patron of Friends of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, among others.

Queen Victoria was Patron of the Society (see illuminated page from the Roll and Charter that was signed by her)

Charter, Queen Victoria

The former Emperor of Japan, Hirohito, was an Honorary Member from 1931.

Fellows honoris causa and Foreign Members

The Society recognizes those who have made an excellent achievement in the advancement of the biological sciences.

Fellows honoris causa, HonFLS, shall not exceed twenty-five and be British subjects.

Foreign Members, FMLS, shall not exceed fifty. No British subject nor any person usually residing in any part of the United Kingdom shall be elected a Foreign Member.

Once proposed for election as Fellow honoris causa or Foreign Member, the name of the candidate must be read at two General Meetings preceding the Anniversary Meeting at which the third reading and election shall take place. Following election, the Fellow honoris causa or Foreign Member receives a Diploma in the Latin language over the Common Seal of the Society and signed by the President, Treasurer and Executive Secretary.

A Fellow honoris causa or Foreign Member will be entitled, without contribution, to the full privileges of a Fellow of the Society.

Fellows honoris causa:

The number of Fellows honoris causa shall not exceed twenty-five.

  • William Lawrence Banks
  • David James Bellamy OBE - author, broadcaster, environmental campaigner and botanist
  • Lord Cranbrook (Gathorne)
  • Professor Laurence Martin Cook
  • Ray G C Desmond – author History of Natural History
  • Ms Georgina Lundy Douglas – Linnean Society Archivist Emerita
  • Professor Brian George Gardiner – PLS 1994-97, Editor of The Linnean
  • Professor Vernon Hilton Heywood
  • Dr Charles E Jarvis
  • Professor Lord Robert May of Oxford
  • Sir Jonathan Miller
  • Dr Norman Winfrid Moore
  • Dr Desmond Morris
  • John Roundell Palmer
  • David P Taylor Pescod
  • Dr Lisbet Rausing
  • Dr John Sparks
  • Lord Selborne
  • Professor Clive Anthony Stace

Foreign Members

The number of Foreign Members shall not exceed 50.

  • Dr Pieter Baas
  • Professor Wilhelm Barthlott
  • Professor Loutfy Boulos
  • Professor Angelika Brandt
  • Professor Kåre Bremer
  • Professor John Cairns Jr
  • Professor Sherwin Carlquist
  • Professor Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
  • Professor Mee-mann Chang
  • Professor Friedrich Ehrendorfer
  • Dr Nelson Estrada
  • Professor Else Marie Friis
  • Dr Stanley John Hughes
  • Professor Bengt Edvard Jonsell
  • Dr Per Magnus Jorgensen
  • Professor Zofia Kielan Jaworowska
  • Dr James Kitching
  • Professor Niels Peder Kristensen
  • Professor H Walter Lack
  • Professor Jean Leclercq
  • Dr Charles Duncan Michener
  • Dr Gareth Jon Nelson
  • Professor Eviatar Nevo
  • Dr Claus Nielsen
  • Professor Hugh E H Paterson
  • Professor Giorgio Pilleri
  • Dr Norman Platnick
  • Dr Peter Hamilton Raven
  • Dr Oliver Cedric Rieppel
  • Dr John P Rourke
  • Professor J William Schopf
  • Professor Erik Francois Smets
  • Dr Sofia Stepanjants
  • Dr Dennis W Stevenson
  • Academician Leonid P Tatarinov
  • Professor Nikolai N Tzvelev
  • Professor Edward O Wilson
  • Dr Daniel Zohary
  • Professor Emeritus Helmut Zwolfer