Singer Dame Shirley Bassey, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis and Game of Thrones actor Emilia Clarke are among the stars of sport, stage and screen recognised in the New Year Honours list, while the Archbishop of Canterbury leads those rewarded for their work on the King’s coronation.
Bassey, who has sold more than 135 million records, is made Companion of Honour for her services to music, becoming the 64th living member of the order which can only have 65 members at any one time.
Dame Shirley, who was born and grew up in Tiger Bay in Cardiff, told the PA news agency: “My heart is full of emotion and I am truly humbled.”
Director and producer Sir Ridley Scott, whose works include Gladiator, Alien and Napoleon, is made a Knight Grand Cross, upgrading his previous knighthood, while author Jilly Cooper becomes a dame.
She told PA: “I am absolutely and incredibly bowled over. I cannot believe I am a DBE, which in my case also stands for Delighted, Bewildered and Ecstatic.”
Sir Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) for his personal service to the Crown during the coronation at Westminster Abbey in May.
Awards of the RVO are in the King’s gift and are bestowed independently of Downing Street to people who have served the monarch or the royal family in a personal way.
Sir Justin conducted the service for the coronation and had the momentous task of anointing and crowning Charles and Camilla.
Other notable names in the list include England cricketer Stuart Broad, who is made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) following his retirement; singer Leona Lewis, who becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE); and author Kate Mosse, who is also made a CBE.
Elsewhere, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) alongside her mother Jenny as co-founders of SameYou, a brain injury recovery charity they established after she survived two brain haemorrhages.
Clarke, who shot to fame playing the Mother of Dragons in the hit HBO series, told the PA news agency the honour was “remarkable” and felt it was “life-enhancing and magical” to see her mother, who has also had surgery to remove a brain aneurysm, also recognised for the work.
In politics, former chancellor and home secretary Sajid Javid has been knighted, Dame Margaret Beckett, Labour MP for Derby South, has had her damehood upgraded to a Dame Grand Cross, and Siobhain McDonagh, Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden, has been made a Dame Commander.
Glastonbury Festival founder Sir Michael, listed under his full name Athelstan Joseph Michael Eavis, said he was looking forward to his investiture after being knighted for services to music and charity.
In an interview for the official Glastonbury website, Sir Michael said: “I think William might do the ceremony.
“He’s made a few mentions of wanting to come to the festival.
“So I’ll probably take a couple of tickets in my pocket!”
In sport, England captain Millie Bright has been made an OBE, while her fellow Lionesses Mary Earps and Lauren Hemp have been made MBEs for services to football after they finished runners-up to Spain in the women’s World Cup.
The honour caps a remarkable month for Earps after she was crowned 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year in a public vote.
Sir Bill Beaumont has been made Knight Grand Cross for services to rugby union football and to charity.
Novelist Ms Mosse, a co-founder of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, has been made CBE for services to literature, to women and to charity.
She told PA: “It does feel that although obviously this is for me, it’s very much an acknowledgement of the importance of the Women’s Prize, and that it matters that women support other women.”
This year’s list includes a total of 1,227 recipients, 48% of whom are women, and 13.8% come from an ethnic minority background.
The oldest recipient is Jill Gladwell, 97, from Stowmarket, who has become an MBE for her voluntary services to the Royal British Legion in Suffolk, while nine-year-old Tony Hudgell, the youngest recipient, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the prevention of child abuse.
Ian Russell, father of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who took her own life after viewing harmful material on social media, has become an MBE for services to child safety online.
Last September, a coroner ruled schoolgirl Molly, from Harrow, north-west London, died from “an act of self-harm while suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content” in November 2017.
Mr Russell has set up the Molly Rose Foundation suicide prevention charity in her memory and has contributed to the establishment of the Online Safety Bill.
On what Molly would have made of his MBE, he told PA: “Molly was quite content to get on stage and take part in school plays, but she was a quiet person, she didn’t like the limelight, so I think she would have found this a bit strange.
“But because she was such a caring person I think she would have been tremendously proud of being able to help people who may be struggling with their mental health and may be beginning to have thoughts about suicide.
“If she thought she could help those people live long and stay strong, she’d be very proud indeed.”
Former rugby league players Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield have both been made CBEs for services to motor neurone disease (MND) awareness.
Burrow won eight Super League titles with Leeds and represented Great Britain and England before he announced he had been diagnosed with MND at the age of 37 in 2019.
Inspired by his former Leeds teammate, Sinfield this month battled through a gruelling schedule of running seven ultramarathons in as many days in seven different cities around Britain and Ireland.
His latest fundraising challenge to help people living with MND raised more than £1m.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “The New Year’s Honours List recognises the exceptional achievements of people across the country and those who have shown the highest commitment to selflessness and compassion.
“To all honourees, you are the pride of this country and an inspiration to us all.”
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