LONDON (Reuters) – Actor Damian Lewis, author Ian Rankin and former First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster were among more than 1,100 people recognized by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on her birthday annual.
The list, which is released to mark the 96-year-old monarch’s official birthday, honors recipients for their “outstanding” contributions; most awards recognize public service or community work.
This year’s honors precede four days of national celebration, starting on Thursday, to mark Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne.
“This historic Platinum Jubilee is not just a celebration of the monarch but of the qualities she possesses,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “The accolades she is bestowing this week reflect many of those qualities which have been invaluable across all walks of life and in communities across the UK.”
Lewis, who won a Golden Globe for his role in the television drama ‘Homeland’, was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to both theater and charity for launching a campaign with his late wife Helen McCrory to raise £1million to provide food for health service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Foster, who was British provincial premier between 2016 and 2021, was among the politicians to be honored and becomes a dame, while crime writer Ian Rankin, creator of the acclaimed series Inspector Rebus, receives a knighthood.
Previously knighted author Salman Rushdie and famed illustrator Quentin Blake, best known for his work in Roald Dahl’s children’s books, have been named Companions of Honor, of which there are only 65 at a time.
From the world of sport, former England football player Rio Ferdinand has been made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), while Welsh football captain Gareth Bale, Liverpool stalwart James Milner and player English cricketer Moeen Ali have all been made MBEs (Members of the Order of the British Empire).
The gold medal-winning British Olympic women’s curling team also received OBEs.
Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of media baron Rupert Murdoch and founder of two successful independent TV production companies, has been awarded a CBE for her work with Arts Council England.
Among the 1,134 people to receive the honors was Angela Redgrave, founder and principal of the Bristol School of Dancing, who received a British Empire Medal and, at 104, was the oldest recipient on the list.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Gareth Jones)
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