Beatles Drummer Joins Astronaut, Lawmakers on U.K. Honors List
(Bloomberg) -- Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was knighted in the U.K.’s New Year’s Honors List, which also makes awards to former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman.
Starr -- whose real name is Richard Starkey -- is awarded a knighthood two decades after the only other surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney, was honored. McCartney in June was made a Companion of Honour, an award limited to 65 members at any one time. In the latest list, that order is filled for the first time, with broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and the author and historian Antonia Fraser made companions.
The list covers the full spectrum of British society, honoring politicians, civil servants, academics, charity workers, scout and guide leaders, a bell-ringer and a beekeeper. Some 1,123 people received an award, 70 percent of them for local work outside the public eye. Five percent of the winners have disabilities, 9.2 percent come from ethnic minorities, and 49 percent are women, according to the Cabinet Office.
Sharman -- who visited Russia’s Mir Space Station in 1991 -- is made a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, an award for those who have served the U.K. abroad. She beat nearly 13,000 applicants to win the mission to become Britain’s first astronaut. National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill is made a knight commander in the same order, while his predecessor, Mark Lyall Grant, is made a knight grand cross.
Clegg, who lost his seat in the general election in June, is made a knight. He served as former Prime Minister David Cameron’s deputy for five years after taking his Liberal Democrat Party into coalition with Cameron’s Conservatives. Current Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Jo Swinson is made a commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE.
Graham Brady, who as chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives could hold Prime Minister Theresa May’s fate in his hands, gets a knighthood. So do Tory lawmakers Christopher Chope and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, while Cheryl Gillan, the longest-standing female member of Parliament in May’s party, is made a dame. From the opposition Labour Party, Mark Hendrick and the current deputy speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, are knighted.
Strathclyde University Professor of Politics John Curtice, Britain’s best-known political polling expert, whose exit poll for the 2017 election predicted May had lost her majority, is also knighted.
Leading awards for corporate Britain are Susan Rice, former chief executive officer of Lloyds TSB Scotland and the first woman to head a U.K. clearing bank, who is made a dame, as are Vivian Hunt, a managing partner for McKinsey & Co. in the U.K. and Ireland, and Ambassador Theatre Group co-founder Rosemary Squire. Knighthoods go to Wrightbus Ltd. founder William Wright, and Ken Olisa, founder of Interregnum Plc and Restoration Partners Ltd.
The list -- which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017 -- includes two people born before the creation of the current honors system. Lieutenant Colonel Mordaunt Cohen is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to World War II education, while Helena Jones receives a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to young people. Both are 101. At 18, Lucia Mee is the youngest person on the list, receiving a BEM for promoting awareness of organ donation.
Other winners include:
- Knighthoods for London School of Economics Professor Tim Besley, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee; Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb; “War Horse” author Michael Morpurgo; Chairman of the Court of the Bank of England Anthony Habgood; and former executive chair of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Edward Troup.
- The ballerina Darcey Bussell is made a dame.
- CBEs go to the author Jilly Cooper, former Treasury adviser Diane Coyle, Carbon Trust Chief Executive Officer Tom Delay, Wesley Clover Corp. CEO Simon Gibson, DeepMind Technologies Ltd. CEO Demis Hassabis, Green Investment Bank CEO Shaun Kingsbury, “House” actor Hugh Laurie, former Lloyd’s of London Chairman John Nelson, former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, celebrity chef Rick Stein, former HMV Group Plc Chairman Robert Swannell, and Tony Walker, deputy Managing director for Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.K. manufacturing operations.
- OBEs -- or Officers of the Order of the British Empire -- go to “Tainted Love” singer Marc Almond, journalist and broadcaster Eamonn Holmes, Worldpay Group Plc Vice Chairman Ron Kalifa, Jupiter Ecology Fund co-founder Tessa Tennant and Charles Tyrwhitt LLP Founder Nicholas Wheeler.
- MBEs go to Symantec Corp. Chief Security Strategist Sian John; Desmond Payne, the “master distiller” of Beefeater London Dry Gin; and Madeleine Sumption, director of Oxford University’s Migration Observatory.
©2017 Bloomberg L.P.