Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson was awarded a damehood in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2018 birthday honors list, while Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro was knighted.
Thompson, who was recognized for services to drama, is notable for her versatility as an actress and as the only person to have won Academy Awards for both acting and writing, for “Howards End” and “Sense and Sensibility,” respectively, the honors committee said.
Ishiguro, whose family moved to Britain from Japan when he was 5 years old, was honored for services to literature. His best-known novels include “Never Let Me Go” and “The Remains of the Day.” Thompson starred in the 1993 film adaptation of the latter.
Former Liverpool soccer great Kenny Dalglish was also knighted, as was historian and broadcaster Professor Simon Schama. Professor Mary Beard, well known for her work on TV documentaries, was given a damehood for services to the study of classical civilizations.
More than 1,000 people received awards in the latest honors list, which is drawn up by the government and approved by the Queen. The list is released twice a year – at New Year’s and for the Queen’s official birthday in June.
It recognizes the achievements and service of “extraordinary” people and includes politicians, academics, journalists, authors and athletes, as well as ordinary citizens who have done outstanding work in their community.
A knighthood or damehood is the highest honor awarded. Men are given the title “Sir,” while women are given the title “Dame.” Below that is a CBE, which stands for Commander of the Order of the British Empire; an OBE, or Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; followed by an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire.
The oldest recipient of an honor in the latest list was 103-year-old Rosemary Powell, who was recognized for her charitable work, having volunteered for the Royal British Legion – which supports British servicemen and women – for 97 years. She received an MBE.
The youngest, at only 20, was alpine skier Menna Fitzpatrick, Team GB’s most decorated Winter Paralympian. The visually impaired teenager, from Wales, thrilled UK fans as she raced down the slopes at the 2018 Winter Paralympics to claim four medals. She and her guide, Jennifer Kehoe, each got an MBE.
Another recipient from the sporting arena was world heavyweight champion boxer Anthony Joshua, made an OBE for services to sport.
Actor Tom Hardy – best known for playing Bane in “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” – was honored with a CBE, as were writer Jeanette Winterson and veteran war correspondent and broadcaster Kate Adie.
A nun, Sister Imelda Poole, received an MBE for her efforts to fight modern slavery as president of European anti-trafficking network RENATE.
Mark Rowley, former assistant commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service and a key figure in Britain’s fight against terrorism, was knighted for his services to policing.
Celebrated New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was made a Companion of Honour, a special award granted to those who have made a major contribution in their field – arts, science, medicine or government – over a long period of time.
The CBE awarded to Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne for services to the rail industry may attract controversy, since it coincides with wide public anger over recent disruption to Britain’s rail network.
Women made up almost half of the total 1,057 recipients and one in 10 honors went to people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Just over 70% of all the awards were made to people for work in their community.