The King’s first Birthday Honours list has been released, with a diverse group of individuals recognized for their contributions to a variety of fields. The list includes former footballer Ian Wright and fashion editor Dame Anna Wintour, along with television presenter Davina McCall and Line of Duty actor Vicky McClure. The highest award, Companion of Honour, was given to Booker Prize-winning author Sir Ian McEwan and Professor Sir John Bell, who played a prominent role in the pandemic, as well as Dame Anna. Other notable recipients include MI6 chief Sir Richard Moore and Labour former minister Sir Ben Bradshaw, who were knighted, and Conservative MPs John Baron, Bob Blackman, Damian Collins, and Heather Wheeler, who were also recognized.
More than half of the recipients are individuals who have demonstrated “outstanding work” in their communities, continuing the coronation theme of helping out and service. Among those awarded an MBE is Suzanne Richards, who helped families bereaved by murder and terrorism. She set up the charity Smile for Joel after her son, brother, and father were killed in the 2015 Tunisia terror attack. Dr. Alice Good, who helped set up the group Sunflower Sisters, which supports Ukrainian citizens, was also recognized.
The youngest recipient is 18-year-old Junior Jay Frood, who has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to vulnerable children. As well as fundraising, Junior is a dancer who campaigns against bullying using the hashtag “Boys Can Dance.” He also appeared on this year’s Britain’s Got Talent where he was given the ‘golden buzzer’ by Simon Cowell.
Sir Ian McEwan expressed his delight with the honour, stating that it amounted to a “really good review” of his work. He emphasized that a literary life is not so much a career as a way of being, and he is entering his 54th year of writing fiction. Late author Martin Amis was knighted the day before his death last month, according to the list.
Suzanne Richards, who received an MBE, stated that she is already prepared to help the families affected by the Nottingham attacks. She said that when she heard the news, it brought tears to her eyes, but she is determined to support the families in any way possible.
The Birthday Honours list recognizes a diverse group of individuals who have made significant contributions to their respective fields and communities. From sports and entertainment to literature and charity work, the list highlights the achievements of a wide range of individuals. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and other global crises, these honorees have continued to make a positive impact, demonstrating the importance of service and helping others.