UK & World News
Britain's Best Recognised On Queen's Birthday
Actors, musicians, broadcasters, sports stars and a road sweeper are among those recognised for their outstanding achievements and services to society in the Queen's birthday honours list.
The 2012 honours list sees the re-introduction of the "working-class gong". The British Empire medal (BEM) was revived by David Cameron in a reversal of John Major's decision to scrap it in 1991.
The return of the medal has allowed the honours system to step up its recognition of "hands-on" service to local communities and the Big Society, according to the head of the Civil Service.
Sir Bob Kerslake, who chairs the main honours committee, said: "Essentially, what we are trying to do is recognise people who have made a real contribution to their communities and to society. What the re-introduction of the BEM has done is help us to extend the reach of the honours system by rewarding hands-on service to local communities."
Some 293 people receive the BEM, including road sweeper Anthony Cleland. The 62-year-old has been serving his community by cleaning the streets in Lambeth, south London, for more than 25 years.
The grandfather of three from Stockwell said: "I am very proud and I think it's great that the BEM has been brought back, it shows that ordinary people deserve to be recognised as well."
A total of 1,201 people were recommended to the Queen for an award, with 1,064 candidates selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level - while 72% of recipients are involved in charitable or voluntary work in their local community.
Beauty therapist Liz Sullivan, from South Wales, who has helped to raise over £1m for research into breast cancer, gets an MBE.
"I have great fun doing the charity work so I feel a little embarrassed but incredibly honoured to be getting this award - I really see it as recognition for all those wonderful people who support the events of In The Pink," she said.
Creative director for fashion house Alexander McQueen Sarah Burton - who designed the Duchess of Cambridge's striking gown for the royal wedding last year - receives an OBE for services to the fashion industry.
And the Queen also included her son, the Prince of Wales, in the list.
He has been awarded the highest rank in all three military services.
The Queen appointed Charles honorary five-star rank in all three services to acknowledge his support in her role as Commander-in-Chief.
He becomes a Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Royal Air Force in the honorary promotion decided by Her Majesty.
Among the other people receiving honours is a police officer who has raised almost £500,000 for a charity fighting an aggressive form of children's cancer.
PC Mark Edwards, who has been a police officer for 26 years, receives an MBE for services to charity and policing. He raised the funds for the charity Joining Against Cancer in Kids (J-A-C-K), which helps children suffering from neuroblastoma.
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what do you think?
A worthwhile peoples honour but why the BEM, are we going to retake our past Empire?
Sorry if you are going to give medals to individuals for having no ambition and staying in the same dead end job for 25 year - it hardly has any credibility Recognition should be reserved for those who give their time free of charge for the good of others, not the rich and famous who use charity event to promote themselves or as a reward for just doing a job
Samantha Williams WasDuncombe
What a horribe thing to say! Some people are happy in the same 'dead end job'. Not everyone aspires to be rich, happiness isn't made by money, and some are happy just to be in work!
Not everyone has the opportunity to move on in their career Michael.
How absolutely patronising to working people to issue a BEM I think it's disgusting. Hope those who get one will decline it.
You obviously didn't get one then Valerie
I can honestly say i don't want one. They are worthless anyway. I just think it is very patronising to issue them. Simples
If it came wrapped in a couple of fifty pound notes that would be nice :)
These are Britain's best? Gawd 'elp us all!!
what a waste of time and money. someone makes a fortune from singing, playing a piano, playing a guitar, running in a race. or someone that stays in a dead end job on minimum wage for years. why? i just don't get it. i've been robbed, arrested, sentenced to hard labour all for the sake of delivering humanitarian aid. it's what i do, i get well paid for it, and i feel good inside when i get the aid to them. self satisfaction should be enough for anyone.
YOUR MAJESTY WAKEN UP HAVE YOU FORGOT YOUR TRUE LOYAL CITIZENS
HOW MANY CELEBS WOULD GIVE THEIR ARM IF NOT BOTH.. OR ONE OF THEIR LEGS IF NOT BOTH OR THEIR SIGHT OR EVEN THEIR LIFE TO DEFEND THIS COUNTRY
Gary Barlow won't be turning it done due to the fact he's just a PRAT. What's he getting Birthday Honours for. These people have done nothing compared to your Armed Forces. WHAT ABOUT ALL THE BRAVE YOUNG SOLDIERS GIVING LIFE FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY...... YOUR MAJESTY FORGET THESE CELEBS AND REMEMBER YOUR LOYAL ARMED FORCES THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT GIVE THERE LIVES. PLEASE CAN YOU MENTION THEM IN YOUR BIRTHDAY HONORS LIST? FORGET THESE USELESS CELEBS.
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Very well said John. These so called "Britains best" are very well paid for their pathetic efforts, and most are famous for being famous.
P.S. Michael Wood 3:59 PM on 16/6/2012 Please read my comments again if you can read correctly. Commented on "Gordon Ramsay RAGING over prison system" Hide Details 12/6/2012 11:44 AM WELL SAID GORDON SAY WHAT ALL PEOPLE ALREADY KNOW BUT AFRAID TO SAY Commented on "Coroner Rules Dingo Took Away Australian Baby" Hide Details 12/6/2012 11:42 AM FINALLY PEACE FOR THE FAMILY AFTER ALL HURT THEY HAVE WENT THROUGH..Commented on "Bus Drivers Vote For Strike Over Olympics Pay" Hide Details 10/6/2012 12:26 AM GREED... I CERTAINLY BELIEVE THE PUBLIC WONT BE BEHIND THEM ON THIS. Its says....Our members are only asking for an extra Â£17 a day which will just about buy you a pint of beer and a portion of fish and chips at the Olympics... What about all shop and supermarket staff within the area they are not...Commented on "Double Arm Transplant For Severe Burn Victim" Hide Details 8/6/2012 5:30 PM If this could be done in Britain think of all the BRAVE SOLDIERS that could benifit from this operation.Commented on "Regiments Face Axe As 20,000 Soldiers Cut" Hide Details 8/6/2012 11:01 AM WHAT A BUNCH OF CLOWNS. Do they not know that they are destroying our army as a fighting force? Same thing happened in the 90's when 10,000's where made redundant. Stop throwing money at the European Union and backing up the euro. These people making these decisions have no idea what it's like in...IF ONLY YOU HAD 5% OF THE COURAGE OF YOUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN THAT ARE SERVING IN TODAYS ARMED FORCES
Britains brown nosers patting themselves on the back .Receiving a worthless award from a worthless person thinking she is special because of whos genetalia she fell out of . Awful.
In civilian life an honour should only be given for sacrifice or bravery.