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Royal Medals

King George IV founded the Royal Medals in 1825.

The award 

Each year two medals are awarded for the most important contributions to the advancement of "Natural Knowledge” in the physical and biological sciences respectively. A third medal is awarded for distinguished contributions in the applied sciences.

The three Royal Medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded annually by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Council of the Society. Frederick Sanger FRS, Max Perutz FRS and Francis Crick FRS are among those who have been awarded a Royal Medal.

The Royal Medals were founded by HM King George IV in 1825. Between 1826 and 1964 two medals were awarded each year. In 1965 the third medal, covering the applied sciences, was introduced on behalf of HM The Queen.


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations will open in November 2018.

Past winners

Dr Paul Corkum FRS was awarded the Royal Medal 2017 for his major contributions to laser physics and the development of the field of attosecond science.

Professor Peter Grant FRS and Professor Rosemary Grant FRS were awarded the Royal Medal 2017 for their research on the ecology and evolution of Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos, demonstrating that natural selection occurs frequently and that evolution is rapid as a result.

Professor Melvyn Greaves FMedSci FRS was awarded the Royal Medal 2017 for his research on surface antigens of normal and leukaemic cells that defined the cellular lineage of different leukaemias and led to procedures now in routine clinical use. See full list of all past winners of the Royal Medal.