Damian Lewis, Ian Rankin is honored by the Queen on the occasion of her anniversary

LONDON (AP) – Actor Damian Lewis and crime writer Ian Rankin are among hundreds of Britons honored by Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday as she celebrates 70 years on the throne.

Lewis, star of the TV shows “Native Land” and “Billions”, became commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the annual list of the Queen’s birthday, which this year coincides with the celebration of the 96th anniversary of the platinum anniversary of the monarch.

The 51-year-old Lewis was honored for his contributions to drama and charity. He and his wife Helen McCrory raised money for a charity that provides food to health workers during the COVID-19 blockade. McCrory, the actor who starred in the TV show “Sharp Blinds”, died of cancer last year at the age of 52.

Rankin, the creator of the stubborn detective Inspector Rebus, after receiving the knighthood can call himself Sir Jan.

“I’m not sure what Detective Inspector John Rebus will say,” said Rankin, 62. “He would almost certainly tell me not to be too big.”

The Royal Awards are presented twice a year, on New Year’s Day and in June, for services to society or British national life.

Along with many well-known names are dozens of individuals little known outside of their communities or professions. This year’s laureates reflect on deeds close to the monarch’s heart, including youth interaction, the environment and public service.

The awards remain widely coveted as a token of recognition, despite concerns about associations with Britain’s imperial past on their behalf.

Pianist and composer Stephen Huff and director Isaac Julien were among those who received knighthood. Former Northern Ireland’s first minister Arlene Foster received a lady, the female equivalent of a knight, like Anne Limb, the first gay man to head the British Scout Association.

Author Salman Rushdie, who lived for years under threat of death from Iran for his novel Satanic Poems, was recognized as an honorary comrade with an award limited to 65 “excellent” people. Quentin Blake, illustrator of Roald Dahl’s children’s classics, also joined the honorary list of companions.

Fashion designer Stella McCartney was awarded the Order of the CBE, and screenwriter Heidi Thomas, creator of “Call the Midwife,” became an officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE.

Singer “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Bonnie Tyler has been recognized as a member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE.

“I’m just a girl from a small town in Wales who just loves to sing, so being recognized that way is very important to me, my family and friends,” Tyler said.

World sports awards include an MBE for former Tottenham Hotspur football star Gareth Bale and an OBE for former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand, cricket player Moina Ali and Eva Murhead of the British women’s curling team.

There was also an MBE for Gregory Rowland, a master wheelwright from the south-west of England who helps keep the ancient craft alive – and repairs royal carriages.

And the sugar-loving nation has been knighted by Jim Walker, whose family business makes Walker’s Shortbread, a buttery Scottish cookie sold worldwide.

The list included knighthood or ladies ’titles for key players in Britain’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including National Health Service Director Stephen Poewis, England’s Chief Health Officer Ruth May, Vaccine Researcher at the University of Edinburgh, and Aziz. vaccines. AstraZeneca.

The list also includes the organizers of last year’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Also recognized were several officials who worked to pull out of Kabul about 15,000 British citizens and Afghans when the city was seized by the Taliban last year. The Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs criticized the organization of the operation as a “catastrophe”, although lawmakers described the field staff as “pursuing a chaotic policy to the best of their ability”.

The awards are selected by commissions of civil servants from candidates nominated by the government and the public, and the awards are presented to senior members of the royal family during ceremonies at Buckingham Palace.

In descending order, the main awards are knighthood, CBE, OBE and MBE. Knights are referred to as “sir” or “lady” and then their name. Recipients of other awards do not have a title, but can put letters after their names.

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