On Friday, The Queen’s Birthday Honours List was published, naming the 2018 recipients of the various awards. The list is designed to recognise the achievements of a wide range of people across the United Kingdom.
Recipients can receive various levels of accolade; one can become a Companion of Honour, receive a damehood or knighthood, become a Commander, Officer or Member of the Order of the British Empire (CBE, OBE and MBE respectively) or be awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM). There are also more specialised awards, such as The Queen’s Police and Fire medals.
These awards are then presented by a senior member of the Royal Family (generally The Queen, The Prince of Wales or The Duke of Cambridge) at an investiture ceremony at one of the Royal residences.
This year’s Honours List included a wide range of recipients from different backgrounds, industries and parts of the UK. The oldest recipient was 103-year old Rosemary Powell, who was granted an MBE in recognition of her 97 years volunteering with the Royal British Legion; the youngest recipient was Menna Fitzpark, Team GB’s most decorated Winter Paralympian, who also received an MBE.
From the world of football, Liverpool legend Kenny Daglish was granted a knighthood for his services to sport, charity and the city of Liverpool, while footballer Jermaine Defoe became an OBE for his work with underprivileged children. Defoe dedicated his honour to Bradley Lowery, who lost his life aged 6 after battling a rare form of cancer.
Other sporting recipients included boxer Antony Joshua and Winter Olympic gold medal winner Lizzy Yarnold, both of whom became OBEs.
Representatives from the world of entertainment were also recognised on the Honours List. Actress Emma Thompson became a Dame for her service to drama; she is the only person to have won Academy Awards for acting and writing. Keira Knightly received an OBE, while legendary journalist Kate Adie is now CBE. Stacy Dooley, known for her hard-hitting documentaries, is now an MBE for her services to broadcasting. Actor Tom Hardy was also made CBE in this year’s list.
Historian Professor Mary Beard received a damehood and said she was “absolutely chuffed” with the news. Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces who is best-known for her TV programmes which bring history to life, was awarded an OBE. A more controversial honour was that given to Network Rail boss Mark Carne, who was appointed CBE just days after his organisation received widespread criticism for ongoing rail disruption.
There are a total of 1,057 recognised in this year’s Birthday Honours List, with the majority receiving either an MBE, CBE or OBE. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of female suffrage, various women who are considered to be at the forefront of their field received honours. Soprano Kiri Te Kanawa became a Companion of Honour, while beauty moguls Jo Malone and Charlotte Tilbury became CBE and MBE respectively. On this year’s List, women represented 49% of participants.
71% of the awards went to those who have participated actively in their communities, such as Holocaust survivor Ber Helfgott, who received a knighthood, and Dr Susan Martin, who was granted an MBE for services to mental health welfare in Liverpool.
There are two Honours Lists released each year: one at the New Year and one for The Queen’s official birthday, with the latter generally being published the night before Trooping the Colour. For a full list of the 2018 Birthday Honours recipient, see the official list here.