Press release

The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017

The Queen’s Birthday Honours lists 2017 recognise the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people from across the UK.

Image of medals

Image credit: Royal Communications

To mark 100 years of the Order of the British Empire, this year’s awards are the most diverse ever. In this centenary year the Honours List has granted a great number of awards to individuals from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

Awards include:

  • a damehood for Professor Xiangqian Jiang​, Director, UK EPSRC, Future Advanced Metrology Hub, University of Huddersfield, for services to Engineering and Manufacturing
  • a knighthood for Professor Alimuddin Zumla​, Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University College London, for services to Public Health and Protection from Infectious Disease
  • a knighthood for Professor Mir Zahedi​, Technical Director, Chas A Blatchford and Sons, for services to Engineering and Innovation
  • a CBE for Kenneth Tharp​, lately Chief Executive, The Place, for services to Dance
  • a CBE for Helen Adu​, aka the singer Sade for services to Music
  • an OBE for Professor Mahendra Varma​, for services to Cardiology in Northern Ireland
  • an OBE for Asif Haseeb for services to Racial Equality, Health and Education in Scotland and Pakistan
  • an MBE for Tarek Malouf​, Founder of the Hummingbird Bakery
  • an MBE for Imam Monawar Hussain for services to Interfaith Relations and the community in Oxfordshire
  • an MBE for Babak Erfani, Chairman of Archway, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network

In total 1,109 people have received an award:

  • 962 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level (303 at BEM, 438 at MBE and 221 at OBE)
  • 74% of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity
  • there are 554 successful women candidates in the list, representing 50% of the total
  • 10% of the successful candidates come from a BAME background, the greatest ever number of BAME recipients in an Honours list
  • 6.5% of the successful candidates consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010)

The centenary of the Order of the Companion of Honour

This year also marks the centenary of The Order of the Companion of Honour (CH). To mark the occasion the independent committees have recommended the following nine appointments:

  • Dame Beryl Grey​, ballerina
  • JK Rowling​, author
  • Sir Paul McCartney​, musician
  • Sir Mark Elder​, conductor
  • Sir Terence Conran​, designer and restaurateur
  • Delia Smith​, cook
  • Lord Stern​, climate change expert
  • Sir John Sulston​, scientist
  • Dame Steve Shirley​, philanthropist

Also in the list is:

  • a damehood for 100 year old actress, Olivia de Havilland​
  • a knighthood for composer and conductor, George Benjamin​
  • a damehood for actress, Julie Walters​
  • a knighthood for Billy Connolly for services to Entertainment and to charity
  • a damehood for actress, June Whitfield​
  • a damehood for mezzo soprano, Sarah Connolly​
  • a CBE for actress, June Spencer​
  • a CBE for illustrator, cartoonist and author, Raymond Briggs​
  • an OBE for Judy Murray for services to Tennis, Women in Sport and charity
  • an OBE for actress, Patricia Hodge​
  • an OBE for British and Irish rugby player, Rory Best​
  • an OBE for actress, Sarah-Jane Lancashire​
  • an OBE for David Walliams for services to charity and the Arts
  • an OBE for Natasha Kaplinsky​, for services to Holocaust Commemoration
  • an MBE for Steven Davis​, Captain of the Northern Ireland Football Team
  • an MBE for Ed Sheeran​ for services to Music and charity


The proportion of women who have received Honours at the highest levels (CBE and above) has increased to 43%. The awards include:

  • a damehood for Dr Angela Strank ​Chief Scientist and Head of Downstream Technology, BP
  • a damehood for Helena Morrissey​, for services to Diversity in Financial Services
  • a damehood for Cilla Snowball​, CEO and Group Chairman, AMVBBDO Advertising Agency
  • a damehood for Professor Parveen Kumar​, Professor of Medicine and Education, Bart’s and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London
  • a damehood for Professor Theresa Marteau​, Honorary Professor and Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit, University of Cambridge
  • ​a damehood for Carmen Callil​, Founder of Virago Press
  • a CBE for Barbara Gubbins​, Chief Executive, County Durham Community Foundation
  • a CBE for Professor Pamela Taylor​, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Cardiff University
  • a CBE for Councillor Judith Blake​, Leader, Leeds City Council
  • a CBE for Beverley Bell​, lately Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain
  • a CBE for Jennifer Price​, Chief Executive, Sport England
  • a CBE for Professor Norma Dawson​, Professor of Law, Queen’s University of Belfast


Recommendations from the field of philanthropy include:

  • a knighthood for Leonard Blavatnik, who for over a decade has built a record of outstanding personal philanthropy in the UK to education, cultural and charitable causes including a commitment in 2010 of £75 million to Oxford University to establish the Blavatnik School of Government
  • a CBE for William Parente for services to the Arts and Philanthropy who commissioned the £3million Harley Gallery to display his family’s art collection to the public for the first time and with no charge
  • a CBE for Lady Joan Jarvis​, now aged 90, who has been a dedicated supporter of many social welfare causes all of her life, particularly supporting Cancer Research and the Royal National Institute of Blind People

Local communities

In total, 74 per cent of awards in the Birthday Honours List will go to people who have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community​, following the Prime Minister’s strategic steer that she would like more honours to go to people really contributing to society and their communities. Those receiving awards include:

  • an MBE for Razia Ismail​, Chair and Founder, Aaghee, for services to Women in the Asian Community in Birmingham – a women’s rights campaigner, she has taken an active role in promoting minority women with a range of activities designed to reach the most disadvantaged in the community
  • MBEs for Sheila and Trevor Fairhurst​, Co-Founders of – since the tragic death of their teenage daughter in 2006, they have highlighted the plight of those suffering domestic abuse and raised funds for counselling victims
  • an MBE for Michael Fitzgerald who for over 50 years has been at the forefront of volunteering in Maidstone providing services to the community, particularly the homeless
  • an MBE for Elizabeth Burton-Phillips​, Founder, DrugFAM – she founded the charity in 2006 and provides a lifeline of caring and professional support to families, friends and carers who are struggling to cope with a loved one’s addiction to drugs or alcohol

The Prime Minister has also provided a strategic steer to the Main Honours Committee that the honours system should support children and young people to achieve their potential, enhance life opportunities, remove barriers to success and work to tackle discrimination. Some prominent awards that reflect these priorities are:

  • a CBE for Aisha Gill​, Professor of Criminology, University of Roehampton, for services to tackling forced marriage, Honour Crimes and violence against women
  • a CBE for Gillian McNeil​, Director and Chief Executive, Theirworld, for services to the health and education of vulnerable children and women
  • a CBE for Mark Wood​, Chair of the NSPCC, for services to children and young people


Around 11 per cent of honours are for work in Education. The Honours Education Committee has recommended:

  • a damehood for Hilary Boulding​, Principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, for services to Education and Culture in Wales
  • a knighthood for Professor Vito Muscatelli​, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Glasgow

Other senior awards in Education include:

  • a CBE for Helena Mills​, CEO of Burnt Mill Academy Trust in Essex
  • a CBE for Andy McNab ​for services to adult literacy

There is also a BEM for school crossing patrol warden, Effie Walker​, who started her job when Colgrain Primary School opened in 1973, for her service to Education and the community in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.


Health makes up 9 per cent of all honours. There is a rich breadth of vocations recognised within the health sector. There is:

  • a GBE (Knight Grand Cross) for Sir Michael Rawlins​, Chair of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for services to the Safety of Medicines, Healthcare and Innovation
  • a GBE for Professor Sir David Weatherall​, Regius Professor of Clinical Medicine Emeritus, The Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, for services to Medicine
  • a knighthood for Professor Simon Lovestone​, Professor of Translational Neuroscience, University of Oxford

Recommendations at MBE include an award for Dr Nikita Kanani​, GP and Chief Clinical Officer of the NHS Bexley Commissioning Group.

Industry and the Economy

Industry and the Economy make up 12 per cent of this honours list. The Economy Committee has recommended a knighthood for Mark Boleat​, lately Chairman, Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation, for services to the Financial Services Industry and to Local Government in London.

A number of strong entrepreneurs and those supporting entrepreneurship are also recognised, including:

  • a CBE for Robert Keiller​, Chairman, Scottish Enterprise
  • an OBE for Ashley Tabor​, Founder and Executive President, Global
  • an MBE for Emily Brooke​, Founder and CEO, Blaze

And within the technology sector the awards include:

  • a CBE for Melvyn Morris​, Non-Executive Chairman, King Digital Entertainment plc
  • an OBE for Arvind Kapur​, Chairman, National Space Centre and Founder and Director, Signum Corporate Communications Ltd
  • an MBE for Dr Mark Mason​, lately CEO, Mubaloo, for services to the Digital Economy

Science and Technology

Science and Technology make up 3 per cent of the total. There is:

  • a knighthood for Professor Hugh Godfray​, Hope Professor of Zoology, University of Oxford
  • an MBE for Professor Rebecca Lunn​, Professor, University of Strathclyde, a female leader in the field of UK engineering and science


Awards for Sport make up 5 per cent of the total. There is an OBE for olympian Heather Stanning who announced her retirement from rowing at the end of 2016 having balanced her sporting achievements with a successful career in the Army.

Awards to grassroots sport include a BEM for David Meldrum who has given over 60 years of service to Rothesay Brandanes Amateur Football Club in Argyll and Bute. Over the years he has held every post in the Club and in his playing days, played every position.

Law and Order

In Law and Order​, the awards include:

  • a knighthood for His Honour Peter Thornton​, lately Chief Coroner
  • a CBE for Rose Fitzpatrick​, Deputy Chief Constable, Police Scotland
  • a CBE for His Honour Judge Marc Dight​, Senior Circuit Judge, Central London County Court

The recommendations for state servants include:

  • a KCB (Knight Commander) for Tom Scholar​, Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury
  • a KCB for Chris Wormald​, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health


The Parliamentary and Political Service Committee has recommended a damehood for Claire Clancy​, Chief Executive and Clerk of the National Assembly for Wales.

Other awards include an MBE for Sandra Major​, a constituency worker of the late Jo Cox, who had been with her when she died.

Finally, ​there is an MBE recommended for George (Johnny) Johnson​, for his contribution to remembrance and to the community in Bristol. Mr Johnson participated in the famous 1943 Ruhr and Eder bombing raids by the “Dambusters” 617 Squadron and was recognised for this with the Distinguished Flying Medal. He supports mental health organisations in his local area, is still actively involved with the British Legion, and regularly conducts presentations to schools on the Dambuster raid of 1943.

Published 16 June 2017