Stephen Sutton, Daniel Day-Lewis and Angelina Jolie on Birthday Honours list


Stephen Sutton accepted his honour shortly before his death, as Lizo Mzimba reports

Late teenage cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton has become an MBE in a Queen's Birthday Honours List which also recognises actor Daniel Day-Lewis with a knighthood.

Stephen, who raised £4.2m for the Teenage Cancer Trust after his story spread on social media, accepted the honour for services to the charity shortly before his death, aged 19, in May.

Sir Daniel, the first person to win three best actor Oscars, is rewarded for services to drama.

Actress Angelina Jolie, meanwhile, has been made an honorary dame for services to UK foreign policy and campaigning to end sexual violence in war zones.

'Truly delighted'

Dame Maggie Smith joins the elite Companions of Honour while Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel, golfer Laura Davies and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes are among the other dames.

Rhodes said: "I think it's great to realise that your country appreciates what you do, I am very proud to be British and I'm an amazing royalist, so it will be quite fabulous."

Birthday Honours 2014


people honoured

  • 73% for outstanding work in their communities

  • 49% are women

  • 30 men receive knighthoods

  • 10 women become dames including fashion designer Zandra Rhodes

Getty Images

Classical pianist Andras Schiff, and Conservative MPs, party grandee Nicholas Soames and the Eurosceptic Bill Cash, are new knights. Labour's Dawn Primarolo, one of a handful of ministers to serve throughout the Blair and Brown governments, becomes a dame.

The list recognises 33 head teachers with five - including Andrew Carter, head of teaching school South Farnham Community Junior in Surrey - made knights or dames.

There is also a knighthood for Robert Francis QC, who chaired the public inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital that led to hundreds of deaths between 2005 and 2008.

Team GB's Lizzy Yarnold, skeleton gold medallist at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, becomes an MBE as does visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher - the winner of Britain's first gold medal in a Winter Paralympics - and her guide Charlotte Evans.

Other sporting honourees include England women's cricket captain Charlotte Edwards, who is made a CBE; Leeds Rhinos and England rugby league captain Kevin Sinfield, an MBE, and Wales rugby union coach Warren Gatland said he was "very proud and sort of humbled" by his OBE.

Charlotte Edwards England women's cricket captain Charlotte Edwards led her team to back-to-back Ashes series wins
Kevin Sinfield England captain Kevin Sinfield said it was "great that rugby league gets some recognition again"

There are also OBEs for Homeland actor Damian Lewis and the BBC's chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, and a CBE goes to BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time panellist Roy Lancaster.

Some 560 - or 49% - of the 1,149 people honoured are women. It follows the New Year's Honours list, which featured more women - 51% - than men for the first time.

'Thumbs up'

Stephen Sutton's fundraising attracted thousands of people after he drew up a "bucket list" of things he wanted to achieve before he died. It led to adventures including skydiving as well as playing drums in front of 90,000 people before the Uefa Champions League final at Wembley last May.

His mother, Jane, said that "though Stephen continually told all of us that he didn't do charity work for recognition, even he acknowledged that to be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire was awesome".

She said she was "truly delighted and immensely proud of" her son, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer aged 15 and when he heard of the nomination "thought it was an incredible honour" and gave it his trademark "thumbs up".

Stephen Sutton Stephen's mother said her son thought it was "an incredible honour to have been nominated"

Actress Jolie, who co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and was in London this week to host a summit, said receiving "an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to".

"Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime and I am dedicated to it for all of mine."

The honours system

Commonly awarded ranks:

  • Companion of honour - Limited to 65 people. Recipients wear the initials CH after their name
  • Knight or Dame
  • CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire
  • BEM - British Empire Medal

Daniel Day-Lewis, who holds dual UK-Irish citizenship, said of his knighthood: "I'm entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure".

He won the best actor Oscar for My Left Foot in 1990, There Will Be Blood in 2008 and Lincoln last year, and was nominated for In the Name of the Father, in 1994, and Gangs of New York, in 2003.

Damian Lewis Actor Damian Lewis, well-known in the US, said Americans "don't quite understand our honours"
Hawk-Eye ball-tracking system Paul Hawkins, inventor of the Hawk-Eye ball-tracking system, becomes an OBE

A "very surprised" Damian Lewis, who plays a soldier returning home after spending years in captivity in Iraq in hit US drama Homeland, said of his OBE: "I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment."

Lewis is currently filming the BBC adaptation of historical novels written by fellow honouree Hilary Mantel, who says she hopes her damehood will "please the many people who have helped, guided and encouraged me over a writing career of some 30 years".

Among the other honours for people from the world of entertainment are MBEs for folk musician Eliza Carthy, actor and TV presenter John Barrowman, and Laurie Johnson, the veteran composer behind the theme music for The Avengers and The Professionals.

Flooding help

The outgoing deputy governor of Bank of England Charlie Bean is knighted, while economist Kate Barker, a former member of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee, is made a dame.

Tony Blair biographer Anthony Seldon, a historian who is head of Wellington College, is knighted for services to education and to modern political history. The same honour goes to the author of dozens of publications on Scottish history, Prof Tom Devine.

There are also knighthoods for Prof Thomas Kibble and Prof Tejinder Virdee of Imperial College, London, whose work contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson, or so-called "God particle", and Paul Gormley, chief executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Sylvia Lancaster Sylvia Lancaster's foundation was set up in the name of her daughter, Sophie, who died after she was attacked in 2007

Among several police officers recognised are Merseyside Police Chief Constable Jonathan Murphy, who receives a knighthood, and retired deputy chief constable Judith Gillespie, formerly the Police Service of Northern Ireland's highest ranking female officer, who is made a CBE.

Paul Hawkins, inventor of the Hawk-Eye ball-tracking system used at Wimbledon and in football's Premier League, and David Braben, co-writer of the Elite series of video games and the brains behind the bare bones PC Raspberry Pi both become OBEs.

Mr Hawkins - who started working on Hawk-Eye in 1999 when he left university - told the BBC receiving the honour was a "very proud moment", and it had been tough keeping it a secret for the past three weeks, when he was first told he was to be recognised in the honours list.

"I've always had a huge passion for sport, I've not been quite good enough to play professionally, but I have a passion for technology as well, so it's been unbelievable to follow my dream and work hard at it," he said.

The same honour goes to London Olympics and Rolling Stones lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe; John Simpson, chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1993-2013, and "money saving expert" Martin Lewis, who is recognised for services to consumer rights and charity.

'For the volunteers'

People who helped others get back on their feet after the floods in southern England earlier this year are among the 73% of recipients who have "undertaken outstanding work in their communities", either in a voluntary or paid capacity.

Croydon Council head of highways Steven Iles is appointed MBE for services to the community during the flooding.

Dawlish and East Teignbridge Volunteer Service manager Shirley Fewings also becomes an MBE after leading her team of volunteers to help those evacuated from their homes.

The Rev John Wood, vicar at St Ann's Church in Tottenham, north London, is appointed MBE for his work helping to build relationships in the community after the 2011 riots.

And 99-year-old Ethel Dobbins receives the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Ethel Dobbins Mrs Dobbins said she was accepting her honour for "all volunteers"

Mrs Dobbins, who is secretary of Blackpool Jubilee Stroke Club, the Thornton-Cleveleys Hard of Hearing Club and various community groups, said she was "pleased to accept this honour for all the volunteers throughout the years who have helped me because without them I would not have achieved what I have".

Sylvia Lancaster, whose 20-year-old daughter Sophie was killed for being a goth in an attack by a gang of youths in a park in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007, is appointed an OBE.

Ms Lancaster, who has campaigned tirelessly to promote awareness of issues around hate crime, said: "It's a real honour but it's not just about me. I could never have done the work we have done if it was not for other people I have worked with."

Paul Sinton-Hewitt, founder of the Parkrun organisation, which aims to get people into running in the UK and overseas, becomes a CBE for services to grassroots sport participation.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 393.

    The honours system doesn't bother me. I teach, work for the young folk and their future. I work pulling the hours and effort in, and gain a great satisfaction in their learning and what I can input. Should impact be measured by reward, wealth, honours? Make a difference, whatever,honour or not!

    I'm sure Angelina Jole gains a huge satisfaction by her impact in her area of honour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 385.

    I have various thoughts on the honours list for and against but I think Angelina Jolie surely has done a good thing and committed to it whole heartedly. She has also opened herself up to petty criticism, unbelievable given she is clearly fully involved in this cause. Good luck to her and well deserved, ask yourself what did you do today for your fellow human?

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    Every time the honours are awarded they attacked by many on HYS saying that they are outmoded, irrelevant and just given to so-called celebrities and people who get well paid for doing their job.

    He is a question for these people: If they were offered and honour would they refuse it? Somehow I doubt it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    All three very worthy winners. Particularly Angelina Jolie for her fearless work for human rights, particularly the rights of exploited women

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    To all those not recognised in the honors list this or any other year despite their many years of hard work for the good of others.

    Thank you


Comments 5 of 8


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