The Queen’s Birthday Honours are a tradition in Great Britain, in which individuals are appointed into orders or get awarded with decorations for outstanding service. This year’s list of those getting recognised for their achievements was published on Friday June 7th.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List “recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom,” explained a press release on the UK government’s homepage.
Over 1,000 people have been recognised in the list that has been released for 2019, with the majority of recipients being awarded for outstanding work in their communities. Some famous names however have made it on there as well.
Olivia Colman is an actress who is well known for starring in many popular shows and movies in the UK but had particular success this year with her starring role in The Favourite, which won her both a BAFTA and an Academy Award. Colman was awarded a CBE for services to drama.
A CBE stands for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and is one of the ranks that can be given in the order of chivalry, which rewards contributions to arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service.
The BBC reported that Colman reacted to her appearance on the list by saying, "I'm totally thrilled, delighted and humbled to be in the company of these incredible people, most of whom have been nowhere near as visible as I have, but should be - and hopefully now will be. It's such an honour."
Another famous name was that of Bear Grylls. The television presenter first gained popularity with his show Man vs. Wild, where he showed how to survive in the wilderness in sometimes extreme conditions.
Grylls received an OBE for services to young people, the media and charity and expressed his gratitude by saying, "This really is a huge honour and it's something, if I'm honest, that I never expected to happen. But I really do feel it's a team effort, this award is for every one of those incredible Scout volunteers... so if you're a Scout volunteer, congratulations, we share this one together."
An OBE title was given to 215 selected candidates out of the 1,073 people in total who received awards. It represents the rank of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which ranks just below the CBE and the Knight or Damehood.
The government statement further said that 75% of this year’s recipients were “people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity” and that with 508 women recognised on the list, female representation was at 47%.
Some of the categories demonstrate the breadth of service awarded in the Birthday Honours. They include for example, Local Communities, Supporting Children and Young People and Economic Activity. The statement also highlighted that Honours were given to “people from all backgrounds from all across the UK.”