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New year honours 2024: awards for Shirley Bassey, Mary Earps and Michael Eavis

New year honours 2024: awards for Shirley Bassey, Mary Earps and Michael Eavis


The singer Shirley Bassey, the England goalkeeper Mary Earps, the Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis and the Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke are among the famous names recognised in the new year honours list, while the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, leads those rewarded for their work on the coronation of King Charles III.

Bassey, known for recording the Bond songs Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever, is one of the all-time bestselling artists. She becomes a Companion of Honour, one of the top honours, for her services to music. She said: “My heart is full of emotion and I am truly humbled.”

Bassey becomes the 64th living member of the order, which can only have 65 members at any one time. Earlier this year she was awarded the Order of Saint Charles by Prince Albert II of Monaco.

The romance author Jilly Cooper receives a damehood for her services to literature and charity. Rishi Sunak confessed his enjoyment of Cooper’s novels earlier this year, revealing that Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous and Appassionata were his favourite Cooper novels.

Cooper said: “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.”

Welby 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, bestowed independently of Downing Street to people who have served the monarch or the royal family in a personal way.

Justin Welby places the crown on the king’s head during the coronation. Photograph: Shutterstock

Brian Clarke is thought to be the first stained-glass artist to receive a knighthood. Commenting on Clarke’s award, the architect Norman Foster said: “I celebrate this recognition of his many talents as an admirer, collaborator in the past and dear friend over many decades.” The artist Damien Hirst said it was “brilliant that his remarkable talent has been recognised”.

Sonia Boyce, who became the first black woman to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2022, is made a dame for her services to art. The show exhibited in Venice, Feeling Her Way, went on to win the event’s top award.

Sir Ridley Scott is made a Knight Grand Cross (GBE) for his services to the UK film industry. In a career that has spanned more than 40 years, Scott has directed a number of the most highly regarded films of the 20th century including Alien, Blade Runner and Thelma and Louise.

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

Judith Weir, the first female master of the king’s music in the role’s 398-year history, is given a damehood. She was first appointed as master in 2014 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Stuart Murphy, the recently departed chief executive of the English National Opera, is awarded a CBE. During his tenure, the ENO offered free tickets for under-21s and discounted tickets for under-35s in an attempt to broaden opera’s appeal.

Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury, receives a knighthood for his services to music and charity. Don Black, a songwriter known for working with Andrew Lloyd Webber and for co-writing several Bond songs, receives a CBE for services to music.

Clarke and her mother, Jennifer Clarke, receive MBEs for their work advocating for people with brain injuries. The pair co-founded the charity SameYou, which works to develop better mental health recovery treatment for survivors of brain injuries.

In 2011, the actor had a life-threatening stroke during a workout. It is believed they are the first mother and daughter to receive the same award in the same honours list.

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

Clarke told the PA news agency that the honour was “remarkable” and 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.

Sajid Javid, the former chancellor and home secretary, is awarded a knighthood for political and public service. He became the first person from a British-Pakistani background to become a secretary of state.

In the summer of 2022, Javid and Sunak resigned from Boris Johnson’s cabinet, sparking dozens more cabinet resignations and the collapse of Johnson’s premiership. Javid ran for leader after Johnson resigned but dropped out and endorsed Liz Truss. He has said he will not stand as an MP at the next general election.

Dame Margaret Beckett, the longest-serving female MP, is awarded a grand cross. She was the first female foreign secretary. After the death of John Smith in 1994, Beckett became the first female acting leader of the Labour party.

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

In business, Tim Martin, the founder and chair of the pub chain Wetherspoon’s and a leading Brexit campaigner, receives a knighthood for his services to hospitality and culture.

His award was welcomed by pro-Brexit campaigners including Nigel Farage, who told the Daily Mail that Martin was a “Brexit legend” and a “larger-than-life character, an entrepreneur to his fingertips and great company”. Jacob Rees-Mogg said of Martin’s award: “I am delighted to hear this.”

Several top Conservative party donors are also honoured. John Griffin, the founder of the taxi firm Addison Lee and one of the Tories’ top donors, is knighted. Stephen Hester, the chair of easyJet and the bank Nordea, is also awarded a knighthood.

Tristia Harrison, the recently departed chief executive of TalkTalk Group, and Amanda Blanc, the Aviva chief executive, are made dames.

In sport, the England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps is awarded an MBE, capping off a breakthrough year for the Lioness. Last week she was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for 2023, becoming the third woman to win the prize.

Christian Horner, the chief executive of Red Bull Racing, receives 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 chief executive of the sports car manufacturer McLaren, is knighted.

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

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

In science, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, the space scientist and co-presenter of the long-running BBC documentary The Sky at Night, is made a dame. Earlier this year, Mattel created a Barbie doll of Aderin-Pocock in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The physician and frequent government adviser Dame Carol M Black, a leading architect of the government’s highly criticised fit to work service used by the Department for Work and Pensions, is awarded a grand cross. The epidemiologist John Edmunds, who led research into Ebola that helped combat an outbreak in west Africa, is given a knighthood.

This is King Charles’s second new year honours list. A total of 1,227 people have received an honour in this year’s list.



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