New Year Honours 2024 Recognize Shirley Bassey, Mary Earps, and Michael Eavis

Singer Shirley Bassey, England goalkeeper Mary Earps, Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis, and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke are among the notable figures recognized in the New Year Honours list. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby leads honorees for their contributions to the coronation of King Charles III.

Bassey, renowned for Bond songs like Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever, is appointed a Companion of Honour, a top honor, for her contributions to music. Expressing her gratitude, she said, “My heart is full of emotion, and I am truly humbled.”

Jilly Cooper, the romance author, is granted a damehood for her contributions to literature and charity. Welby receives a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) for his personal service during King Charles III’s coronation at Westminster Abbey in May. Awards of the RVO are given by the monarch, independently of Downing Street, to individuals who have served the crown or royal family personally.

Rishi Sunak, expressing his admiration for Cooper’s novels earlier this year, revealed his favorites, including Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, and Appassionata. Cooper, upon receiving her damehood, exclaimed, “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.”

New year honours 2024: awards for Shirley Bassey, Mary Earps and Michael Eavis
Justin Welby places the crown on the king’s head during the coronation. Photograph: Shutterstock

Brian Clarke is believed to be the first stained-glass artist to be knighted. Reflecting on Clarke’s knighthood, architect Norman Foster expressed, “I celebrate this recognition of his many talents as an admirer, collaborator in the past, and dear friend over many decades.” Damien Hirst, the artist, remarked that it was “brilliant that his remarkable talent has been recognized.”

Sonia Boyce, the first black woman to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2022, is honored with a damehood for her contributions to art. Her exhibition in Venice, titled Feeling Her Way, not only made history but also received the event’s top award.

Sir Ridley Scott is appointed a Knight Grand Cross (GBE) for his services to the UK film industry. With a career spanning over 40 years, Scott has directed some of the most highly acclaimed films of the 20th century, including Alien, Blade Runner, and Thelma and Louise.

King Charles and Judith Weir in June. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA
King Charles and Judith Weir in June. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA

Judith Weir, the first woman to hold the position of Master of the King’s Music in its 398-year history, is honored with a damehood. Queen Elizabeth II appointed her as Master in 2014.

Stuart Murphy, the recently departed Chief Executive of the English National Opera, is appointed a CBE. Under his leadership, the ENO implemented initiatives like providing free tickets for those under 21 and discounted tickets for those under 35, aiming to broaden the appeal of opera.

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury, is knighted for his contributions to music and charity. Don Black, a songwriter recognized for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber and co-writing several Bond songs, is awarded a CBE for his services to music.

Emilia Clarke and her mother, Jennifer Clarke, are both awarded MBEs for their advocacy on behalf of individuals with brain injuries. Together, they co-founded the charity SameYou, dedicated to improving mental health recovery treatment for survivors of brain injuries.

In a noteworthy distinction, they are believed to be the first mother and daughter to receive the same award in the same honors list.

Jennifer and Emilia Clarke. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA
Jennifer and Emilia Clarke. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

Judith Weir, the inaugural woman to hold the esteemed position of Master of the King’s Music in its 398-year history, is bestowed with a damehood. Her appointment to the role was made by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014.

Stuart Murphy, the recently departed Chief Executive of the English National Opera, is named a CBE. During his tenure, the ENO introduced initiatives such as offering free tickets for those under 21 and discounted tickets for those under 35, with the aim of broadening the appeal of opera.

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury, is knighted in recognition of his significant contributions to music and charity. Don Black, a songwriter renowned for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber and co-writing several Bond songs, is honored with a CBE for his services to music.

Emilia Clarke and her mother, Jennifer Clarke, both receive MBEs for their advocacy on behalf of individuals with brain injuries. They jointly established the charity SameYou, committed to enhancing mental health recovery treatment for survivors of brain injuries.

In a notable distinction, they are believed to be the first mother and daughter to receive the same award in the same honors list.

Margaret Beckett at the 2021 Labour party conference. Photograph: Michael Mayhew/Sportsphoto/Allstar
Margaret Beckett at the 2021 Labour party conference. Photograph: Michael Mayhew/Sportsphoto/Allstar

In the business sector, Tim Martin, the founder and chairman of the pub chain Wetherspoon’s and a prominent Brexit advocate, is honored with a knighthood for his contributions to hospitality and culture.

The knighthood received support from pro-Brexit campaigners, including Nigel Farage, who hailed Martin as a “Brexit legend” and a “larger-than-life character, an entrepreneur to his fingertips and great company.” Jacob Rees-Mogg expressed his delight at Martin’s award, stating, “I am delighted to hear this.” Notably, several top Conservative party donors are also recognized, with John Griffin, the founder of taxi firm Addison Lee and a significant Tory donor, being knighted. Stephen Hester, the chairman of easyJet and the bank Nordea, is also conferred with a knighthood.

Tristia Harrison, the recently departed CEO of TalkTalk Group, and Amanda Blanc, the Aviva CEO, are both appointed as dames.

In the realm of sports, the England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps is bestowed with an MBE, capping off a breakthrough year that saw her named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for 2023, becoming the third woman to win the prize.

Christian Horner, the CEO of Red Bull Racing, is honored with a CBE. Sir Bill Beaumont, the chair of World Rugby and a former captain of the England rugby team, is awarded a grand cross. Ron Dennis, the founder and former CEO of the sports car manufacturer McLaren, is knighted.

Felicity Dahl is honored with a damehood for her role in establishing Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity in 1991 in memory of her husband. The charity collaborates with the NHS to provide specialist nurses and support for seriously ill children living with complex, lifelong conditions.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Photograph: Ian West/PA
Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Photograph: Ian West/PA

In the field of science, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, the space scientist and co-presenter of the enduring BBC documentary “The Sky at Night,” is honored with a damehood. Earlier this year, Mattel commemorated International Women’s Day by creating a Barbie doll modeled after Aderin-Pocock.

Dame Carol M Black, a physician and frequent government adviser, known for her role in shaping the government’s fit-to-work service, criticized by many and utilized by the Department for Work and Pensions, is conferred with a grand cross. Epidemiologist John Edmunds, recognized for leading research on Ebola that contributed to combating an outbreak in West Africa, is knighted.

This marks King Charles’s second New Year Honours list, with a total of 1,227 individuals being recognized in this year’s list.

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