New Year Honours 2023: Four Lionesses, Brian May and Chris Kamara among those recognised

Brian May (top left), Leah Williamson, Chris Kamara and Frank Skinner (bottom right) are among those to be honoured. Credit: PA

Four of football’s Lionesses command the pride of their country in a New Year Honours list which also sees Queen guitarist Brian May and artist Grayson Perry knighted.

The 2023 New Year Honours are the first to be signed off by King Charles, following the Queen's death in September.

There are 1,107 recipients on the main list, announced by the Cabinet Office - half of whom are women.

The youngest person to be honoured is Dara McAnulty, 18, from Annalong, County Down, who receives a BEM for his environmental work and work with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. And the oldest is 100-year-old Peter Davies, from Bollington, in Cheshire, who is also be awarded a BEM for his work as a reading volunteer at Dean Valley Community Primary School.

Here's a list of some of the high-profile names handed an honour this year:

  • Four Lionesses

Captain Leah Williamson is among four of England’s Euro 2022-winning side to be named in the list, being made an OBE while her teammates Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White are all made MBEs.

The team’s Dutch head coach Sarina Wiegman also joins the party, after the Foreign Office made her an honorary CBE.

Bronze, 31, told the PA news agency: “To be recognised for everything I’ve done throughout my career was a little bit surreal. It’s just something so different to football and something harder to compute. “An MBE is obviously a huge honour and very special. The first person I told was my grandma. “My grandma probably doesn’t understand many of the awards I’ve won in football but she adored the Queen, so I thought ‘this (MBE) is going to be her special thing’.”

The Lionesses made history when they beat Germany 2-1 in the Women's Euros 2022 final. Credit: PA
  • Chris Kamara

Kamara, one of football’s most popular figures, has been recognised for his services to football, charity and anti-racism.

The 65-year-old played for nine English professional clubs in a career spanning 20 years before going on to manage Bradford and Stoke, but in more recent years he has become best known for his work as a pundit and presenter on Sky Sports.

Chris Kamara attending the ITV Autumn Entertainment launch at Television Centre, Wood Lane, London. Credit: PA
  • Brian May

Musician and animal welfare campaigner Sir Brian, who famously played God Save The Queen on the roof of Buckingham Palace during the Golden Jubilee before performing again at the Platinum Jubilee two decades later, has been appointed a knight bachelor for services to music and charity.

He has said he feels a renewed responsibility to “behave in a way which benefits the country and the rest of the population” after being given the knighthood. As the virtuoso guitarist in rock band Queen, the 75-year-old is responsible for some of the biggest riffs in popular music, from the solo on Don’t Stop Me Now to the melodic strums of Somebody To Love. Alongside late frontman Freddie Mercury, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, he scored numerous number ones during the group’s ’80s heyday, touring the world.

Brian May performs during the BBC's Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace. Credit: PA
  • Grayson Perry

The 62-year-old artist, writer and broadcaster who is known for his tapestries, ceramic works and cross-dressing, is being knighted for services to the arts.

Essex-born Sir Grayson, who calls himself a “tranny potter”, often explores fashion, conformity and prejudice in his work and appears in public as his female alter-ego, Claire.

Grayson Perry is being knighted for services to the arts. Credit: PA
  • Rachel Riley

Countdown star Rachel Riley said she shares her MBE with those “fighting anti-Jewish racism” as she is honoured for her efforts to raise awareness of the Holocaust and combat antisemitism. The TV presenter and mathematician, whose mother is Jewish, has been honoured for her services to Holocaust education as an avid campaigner in the New Year Honours list. She wrote on Twitter on Friday: “Incredibly proud to have just been awarded an MBE for services to Holocaust education. “Grateful to everyone who has sent well wishes and support over the years. “This is very much shared with so many people who also dedicate their time and energy to fighting anti-Jewish racism.”

Rachel Riley has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours list. Credit: PA
  • David Harewood

Actor and broadcaster David Harewood has been made an OBE in the New Year Honours list after becoming a prominent voice for better mental health support. The 57-year-old, who found widespread fame playing CIA director David Estes in the US drama series Homeland, has been honoured for his services to drama and charity.

David Harewood created a one-off BBC documentary titled Psychosis And Me in 2019. Credit: PA
  • Frank Skinner

Frank Skinner, 65, whose real name is Christopher Graham Collins, has been recognised for his services to entertainment.

Speaking about being made an MBE, the broadcaster and comedian told the PA news agency: “Well, to be honest, I haven’t told anyone at all, even those closest to me, because I still thought there might be some sort of administrative error. “But I think it’s brilliant. I deal mainly in laughs and applause and they disappear into the air quite quickly. “So getting a proper medal that you can hold on to and polish regularly feels (it) has given my career a sense of permanence that I like.”

Frank Skinner is regarded today as a comedy stalwart. Credit: PA

There are numerous other people recognised in this year's honours list, including:

- Merseyside-born This Is England actor Stephen Graham becomes an OBE for services to drama.

- Designer Dame Mary Quant, who is widely credited with popularising the mini skirt, has been appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the New Year Honours list.

- The widow of slain police officer Andrew Harper, Lissie Harper, was made an MBE for her campaign to strengthen the law in his memory. She has been honoured for her services to victims of violent crime and their families.

The grieving newlywed campaigned for legal changes – named Harper’s Law – which has extended mandatory life sentences to anyone who commits the manslaughter of an emergency worker on duty.

- Alison Rose, the first woman to run one of Britain’s biggest high street banks, was given a damehood in the New Year Honours list. The chief executive of NatWest Group joined the bank 30 years ago as a graduate and climbed the ranks to take on the top job in November 2019.

- Journalist Anne Diamond, who campaigned to stop cot death, has described being made an OBE as the “crowning achievement” for all those who helped her. The broadcaster, 68, who has been named in the New Year Honours for services to public health and charity, dedicated the achievement to her late son Sebastian.

- Senior diplomats at the forefront of the UK’s response to the war in Ukraine have been included in the mix with damehoods for Melinda Simmons, ambassador in Kyiv, and Deborah Bronnert, ambassador in Moscow.

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