Van Mor­ri­son, oth­ers hon­ored by Queen El­iz­a­beth II


Singer-song­writer Van Mor­ri­son was given a knight­hood and Os­car­win­ning ac­tor Ed­die Red­mayne was made an OBE in Queen El­iz­a­beth II’s birth­day hon­ors an­nounced Fri­day.

Rugby stars Gareth Ed­wards and Jonny Wilkin­son as well as Wil­liam Poo­ley, a Bri­tish nurse who con­tracted Ebola while work­ing in Sierra Leone, were also hon­ored.

U.S. ac­tor Kevin Spacey, who is end­ing a 10-year run as artis­tic direc­tor of Lon­don’s Old Vic Theatre, was awarded an hon­orary knight­hood, which he said made him feel like an “adopted son” of the United King­dom.

Two his­to­ri­ans who helped dis­cover the re­mains of 15th-cen­tury King Richard III un­der a car park, Philippa Lan­g­ley and Louis Ash­down-Hill, re­ceived hon­ors as well.

The queen’s hon­ors are awarded twice a year and although the fo­cus is of­ten on celebri­ties, most are or­di­nary peo­ple rec­og­nized for work in their com­mu­ni­ties.

De­cided by an in­de­pen­dent com­mit­tee, the awards in­clude knights and dames and var­i­ous or­ders of the Bri­tish Em­pire, whether com­man­der (CBE), of­fi­cer (OBE) or mem­ber (MBE).

Ac­tors, Sports Stars Hon­ored

Van Mor­ri­son was awarded the high­est honor, a knight­hood, for ser­vices to mu­sic and tourism in his na­tive North­ern Ire­land.

The 69-year-old, known for the 1967 hit “Brown Eyed Girl,” con­tin­ues to write and per­form.

Red­mayne, 33, who won an Os­car this year for play­ing Bri­tish sci­en­tist Stephen Hawk­ing in “The The­ory of Ev­ery­thing,” was made an OBE.

Fel­low ac­tor Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch missed out on an Os­car for “The Imi­ta­tion Game” but the “Sher­lock” star gains some com­pen­sa­tion with a CBE.

His “Twelve Years A Slave” costar Chi­we­tel Ejio­for was also named a CBE, as was Michael Bond, the cre­ator of the much-loved sto­ries about Padding­ton Bear.

A Bri­tish doc­tor in­volved in fight­ing the Ebola epi­demic in west Africa, Oliver John­son, was named an OBE, while Poo­ley, the 30-yearold nurse who con­tracted the deadly virus be­fore re­cov­er­ing, was named MBE.

In the world of sport, Welsh rugby leg­end Ed­wards was given a knight­hood while World Cup win­ner Wilkin­son, who re­tired last year, was made a CBE.

For­mer Eng­land

foot­baller Frank Lampard was named an OBE, as was crick­eter James An­der­son, Eng­land’s record Test wicket-taker, while Eng­land women’s foot­ball cap­tain Casey Stoney was made an MBE.

Just over half (51 per­cent) of the 1,163 awards went to women, in­clud­ing Zarine Kha­ras, who founded char­ity fundrais­ing site Just­Giv­ing. com and was made a dame.

Twenty-five-year-old Laura Bates, founder of the Ev­ery­day Sex­ism Project that cat­a­logues women’s ex­pe­ri­ences of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, was awarded a Bri­tish Em­pire Medal, which re­wards a con­tri­bu­tion of rel­a­tively short du­ra­tion.

The leader of one of the UK’s big­gest trade unions, Paul Kenny of the GMB, was given a knight­hood, which he said was wel­come “recog­ni­tion of the cru­cial role trade unions play in so­ci­ety.”

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