A diamond thank you by the Queen: Birthday honours for jubilee organiser Gary Barlow and Kate's dressmaker
10:49 GMT, 16 June 2012
The Queen says thank you in her Birthday Honours today to those who made the Diamond Jubilee and last year’s royal wedding so special.
Singer Gary Barlow and choirmaster Gareth Malone both receive the OBE after their involvement in the spectacular jubilee concert, while the same honour goes to Sarah Burton, who designed the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress.
And Helen Asprey, the personal private secretary to Kate and Prince William, becomes a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order for her role in organising the couple’s glittering wedding.
The Queen says a big thank you in her Birthday Honours today, with Gary Barlow, right, awarded an OBE
British stars of Hollywood are also recognised. Kenneth Branagh receives a knighthood while Kate Winslet is appointed CBE.
Belfast-born Branagh, 51, who has been recognised for his services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland, now joins the ranks of the great acting knights.
Speaking at Pinewood Studios, where he is making a film, he said the recognition had left him feeling ‘humble, elated, and incredibly lucky’.
Twice-married Branagh, one of Britain’s best-loved actors whose hits include Henry V and TV drama Wallander, said: ‘When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team. I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt, and my heart’s fit to burst.’
Oscar-winner Miss Winslet, 36, said she was ‘deeply proud’ to be recognised for her services to drama.
Honoured: Sarah Burton, who designed the Duchess of Cambridges wedding dress, gets an OBE
The star of the 1997 film Titanic added: ‘I am both surprised and honoured to stand alongside so many men and women who have achieved great things for our country. This makes me very proud to be a Brit.’
The feeling was shared by Barlow, who said he was ‘absolutely thrilled’ with his honour, a recognition that comes just days after he put together the triumphant Diamond Jubilee concert for the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
The 41-year-old Take That star said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to be in the company of so many brilliant people who I know have received an OBE.’
Music maestro Malone, who featured with the Military Wives choir at the Diamond Jubilee concert, said of his OBE: ‘This is a great honour and one I’m thrilled about. It is extra special to receive an OBE during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, having just performed at the jubilee concert. What a year.’
Jean Marsh, who co-created and starred in Upstairs Downstairs, said she was thrilled to be made an OBE. But the 77-year-old actress admitted she had initially ignored the official letter because she thought it might be a parking ticket.
Honoured: Actress Kate Winslett, who starred in Titanic, is awarded a CBE, whilst Kenneth Branagh, right, is given a knighthood
Jenny Agutter, 59, who found fame in the 1970 film The Railway Children and recently starred in the BBC1 drama Call The Midwife, receives an OBE for her charitable work, while Amanda Redman, 54, who appears in police drama New Tricks and founded the Artists Theatre School, is appointed MBE.
A FIVE STAR TRIBUTE TO CHARLES
The Prince of Wales has been awarded the highest rank in all three military services.
The Queen yesterday appointed Charles honorary five-star rank in all three services to acknowledge his support in her role as Commander-in-Chief.
He becomes a Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Royal Air Force in the honorary promotion decided by the Queen.
Two members of the Royal Family currently hold five-star rank – the Duke of Edinburgh in all three services and the Duke of Kent, who is a Field Marshal.
The convention of promoting service chiefs to five-star ranks was stopped after a report suggested abolishing them as part of recommendations for savings.
They are now reserved for special circumstances.
General the Lord Guthrie was also appointed to the honorary rank of Field Marshal. The promotions will incur no cost to the MoD.
Also a regular on the small screen, Mary Berry, 77, one of the nation’s best-known cookery experts, becomes a CBE.
In recognition of his charity work, Charles Dunstone, 47, the founder and chairman of Carphone Warehouse, is awarded a knighthood.
Also knighted is composer and lyricist Richard Stilgoe, 69, famous for his appearances on everything from Nationwide and That’s Life! to Countdown. He is honoured for his philanthropic work.
In the media, former Spectator editor Alexander Chancellor, 72, is made a CBE for services to journalism, while Armando Iannucci, 48, who wrote TV series The Thick of It, receives an OBE for services to broadcasting.
Novelist Susan Hill, 70, author of The Woman In Black, said her CBE meant she had ‘caught up’ with her husband, Shakespearean scholar Professor Stanley Wells, who was given the same honour five years ago.
Former Casualty star Kwame Kwei-Armah, now a playwright, said his OBE was a tribute to the ‘immigrant’s dream’ that brought his parents to Britain from the West Indies.
Singer and charity fundraiser Joe Longthorne said being awarded the MBE was ‘an unexpected honour’. Longthorne, who has recovered from leukaemia and a bone marrow transplant, added: ‘I am extremely glad that I’m still here to receive it!’
The 57-year-old from Hull has been given the award for charity work that has seen him raise money for organisations including the Variety Club of Great Britain and Cancer Research UK.
A total of 1,201 people were recommended to the Queen for an award, with almost three-quarters of the recipients involved in charitable or voluntary work in their community.
MEDAL FOR THE TEENAGE GIRLS WHO'VE RAISED THOUSANDS
Teenage sisters Alice and Milly Pyne are awarded British Empire Medals for their services to charity, an honour which has been reintroduced by David Cameron as part of his Big Society campaign.
Alice, 16, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and she and her sister have worked tirelessly to raise money to aid research into the disease.
Credit: Alice Pyne (back) with her father Simon Pyne (left), sister Milly Pyne (front centre) and mother Vicky Pyne (right)
Milly, who at 13 is one of the youngest recipients of an honour, has campaigned on her sister’s behalf and has helped raise 31,000 for charities.
They are among the first to receive the revived BEM, the so-called ‘working class’ accolade which was abolished by John Major because of its class implications. Sir Bob Kerslake, who chairs the main honours committee, said: ‘What the reintroduction of the BEM has done is help us extend the reach of the honours system by rewarding hands-on service to local communities.’ In all, 293 BEMs had been handed out.
Dedicated: Tessa Jowell has become a Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for her work in getting the Olympics to London
A string of officials and politicians behind next month’s London Olympics have been awarded honours. Among those to receive titles are architect Zaha Hadid and shadow Olympic minister Tessa Jowell, who was instrumental in bringing the Games to London in 2005. Both become dames.
Hadid, who was born in Baghdad, has won many honours for her work including the Stirling Prize, Britain’s leading architecture award, for the past two years. She designed the Olympic aquatics centre.
OBEs go to members of the Olympic Delivery Authority, including Lorraine Baldry, chairman of the planning committee; Jerome Frost, head of design; Ian Galloway, programme director; Lawrence Waterman, head of health and safety; and Simon Wright, director of infrastructure.
Elsewhere in sport, golf world number one Luke Donald, former Wales rugby international Shane Williams and ex-England goalkeeper David James all receive the MBE.
Former football star Paul Elliott is appointed CBE for services to equality and diversity in football, the highest honour received by any player from the Premier League era.
Showjumper Nick Skelton and stunt motorcyclist Eddie Kidd receive the OBE.
THE government lawyer who cleared the appointment of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to oversee the BSkyB deal has been given a knighthood. Paul Jenkins, the Treasury solicitor who gave David Cameron the green light to allow Mr Hunt to preside over the decision, is made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
Tory MP Tony Baldry, Lib Dem Malcolm Bruce and Labour’s Tony Cunningham all receive a knighthood.