Honoured all, from the A-list stars to working-class heroes
Take That star Gary Barlow, actors Kate Winslet and Kenneth Branagh and the designer behind the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress are recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list today.
The list, which sees the re-introduction of the “working-class gong”, showcases the best of British artistic talent, with awards also going to actresses Jenny Agutter and Amanda Redman, and chart-topping choirmaster Gareth Malone.
And as Britain prepares for the Olympics, sporting stars are not forgotten, with golf world number one Luke Donald on the list, as well as former Wales rugby international Shane Williams and former England goalkeeper David James.
The 2012 birthday honours list sees the re-introduction of the British Empire Medal (BEM), often described as the working-class gong, which was revived by David Cameron in a reversal of John Major’s decision to scrap it because it clashed with the idea of a “classless society”.
BEM recipients include retired middleweight boxer Terence “Terry” Downes, as well as Geoffrey Hopkinson, who gets the gong for services to beekeeping.
Sarah Burton – who designed the Duchess of Cambridge’s striking gown for the Royal wedding last year – is another homegrown talent to receive a gong. Creative director for fashion house Alexander McQueen, Burton is recognised with an OBE for services to the fashion industry.
She is joined by choirmaster Gareth Malone, who took part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert with his Military Wives Choir.
Malone, who gets an OBE for services to music, coached the choir to chart success and the coveted Christmas number one.
In a year that sees 6 per cent of the honours go to people from the arts and media, actor and director Kenneth Branagh is knighted for services to drama and the community in Northern Ireland, alongside Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Michael Boyd for services to drama, and Scottish opera director David McVicar for services to opera.
Lord Archer’s wife Dr Mary Archer, a champion of patient care and safety, is to become a dame, along with Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, who designed the aquatics centre at the Olympics Park, as well as former culture secretary Tessa Jowell, for services in support of the Olympics.
Sport plays an important role in the honours in the year Britain hosts the Games.
Showjumper Nick Skelton, who retired after breaking his neck in 2000 but went on to recover and compete again, gets an OBE for services to equestrian sport.
MBEs also go to Saracens and England rugby player Margaret Alphonsi, and Alison Williamson, who will represent Britain in archery at her sixth Olympic Games this summer.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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