Twice a year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II releases her choices for the Honours list.  Among this year’s recipients are author Ian Rankin, actor Damian Lewis, fashion designer Stella McCartney, composer Stephen Hough, and singer Bonnie Tyler.  Salman Rushdie is also being honoured.  This year it is a special honour for the recipients as it coincides with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee for serving 70 years on the throne.

The honours begin with the Member of the Order of the British Empire, next is the Officer of the Order of the British Empire, then Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and then Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  If a woman reaches knighthood status, she is called Dame; while the men are Sir.

Honourees are presented with the titles for their service to their craft and their philanthropic endeavours.

Welsh born singer Bonnie Tyler – who is best known for her hit song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – has been awarded an MBE.  Tyler spoke on the honour saying, “I’m just a girl from a small town in Wales who just loves to sing, so to be recognized for that in this way is very significant to me and my family and friends.”

Screenwriter Heidi Thomas who is best known for “Call the Midwife” is to receive the OBE.

Fashion designer and daughter of musician Sir Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney has been awarded an CBE – one step below knighthood.

Actor Damian Lewis  – who is known for his roles in “Homeland” and “Billions” has also been awarded a CBE.

Author Ian Rankin is best known for his fictional Detective Inspector John Rebus has been awarded knighthood.  Sir Ian spoke on the honour saying, “I am not sure what Detective Inspector John Rebus would make of it.  He’d almost certainly tell me not to get too big-headed.”

The former First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster, filmmaker Isaac Julien, and pianist and composer Stephen Hough have also being knighted.  Ann Limb is the first person to head the British Scout Association who is also openly gay.  She will also now carry the title Dame Ann.

“The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie has been awarded the Companion of Honour – an award that is given to only 65 people; as well as, children’s classics author Roald Dahl.

National Health Service personnel were also honoured for their dedication to service during the recent coronavirus pandemic; as were officials who helped to bring British troops home from Afghanistan.