Press release

The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2019

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019, published on Saturday 8 June, recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom.

Awards include damehoods for Laura Lee, the founder and Chief Executive of Maggie’s cancer centres, sculptor Rachel Whiteread and Sara Thornton, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

There are knighthoods for actor Simon Russell Beale, the founder of Operation Black Vote, Simon Woolley, Chief Scientist of Genomics England, and head of the 100,000 Genomes Project, Professor Mark Caulfield and founding artistic Director of the Place, 94 year old Robert Cohan.

There are CBEs for Oscar winning actress Sarah Sinclair (Olivia Coleman), authors Joanna Trollope and Lee Child, pianist Joanna MacGregor and Terence Whittles, National Chairman, The Royal British Legion.

At OBE, there are awards for Nimco Ali and Leyla Hussein for their work in tackling Female Genital Mutilation and gender inequality, musician Elvis Costello and the co-founder of Silverback Films and producer of Blue Planet and Planet Earth, Alistair Fothergill, Chief Scout, Bear Grylls and actress Cush Jumbo.

At MBE, there are awards for Women’s British Open winner Georgia Hall, along with journalist and broadcaster Dan Snow.

This List highlights a range of extraordinary people being recognised for their efforts to improve the social mobility of those from underprivileged backgrounds - whether through providing care, education or innovative business and employment support.

An OBE is awarded to Sonia Watson, the CEO of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, for her work helping disadvantaged people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds pursue a career in architecture; an MBE for Christie Spurling who founded the charity N-Gage to encourage disenfranchised students from deprived communities re-engage with their education; an MBE for Sarah Burns for her work with charity Smart Works, which provides unemployed women who are single parents with clothing and coaching for job interviews; and a BEM for 19 year old Lauren Shea for her work in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in young people.

Coming shortly after Foster Care Fortnight, the List includes a group of 15 leading foster carers who are recognised at MBE who between them have fostered over 1,000 children. These outstanding recipients are representative of over 40,000 foster families who are transforming the lives of young people across the UK - showing exceptional dedication to fostering, looking after multiple sibling groups or children with disabilities or particular needs.

The List also includes seven inspirational individuals who have dedicated their lives to holocaust remembrance and education, sharing their stories with over 100,000 schoolchildren around the UK. As holocaust survivors, they have demonstrated extraordinary personal resilience and commitment, championing tolerance and diversity, and playing a vital role in ensuring future generations continue to learn from the past.


This Honours List continues to demonstrate the breadth of service given by people from all backgrounds from all across the UK.

In total 1,073 people have received an award:

  • 920 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level: 306 at BEM, 399 at MBE and 215 at OBE
  • 75% of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity
  • 508 women are recognised in the List, representing 47% of the total
  • 10.4% of the successful candidates come from a BAME background
  • 5.9% of the successful candidates consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010)
  • 2.8% of recipients identified as being LGBT

The Prime Minister 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.


A number of prominent women are being recognised, including damehoods for Elizabeth Corley, Vice Chair of Allianz Global Investors for her work on diversity, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry, Julie Kenny, Chair, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, and Professor Elan Closs Stephens for services to Welsh Government and broadcasting.

There is also a CMG for Professor Charlotte Watts, founder of the Gender Violence Research Centre and global leader on domestic violence as a global public health issue, and a CBE for pioneering computer scientist and co-creator of the first Acron Micro computer, Sophie Wilson.

At OBE, there is an award for broadcaster and journalist, Brenda Emmanus for her work in broadcasting and on diversity.

Local Communities

In total, 75% of awards in the Birthday Honours List will go to people who have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community. Awards include:

  • an OBE for Qadeer Kiani for his work developing opportunities for migrants and refugees in London
  • An OBE for Janice Cahill for her work to the Education of Vulnerable Young Learners and Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Stockport
  • An OBE for Philip Maguire for his work with Prison Radio and Radio Production
  • There are also OBE’s for Cynthia Robinson, Elizabeth Sclater and Glenda Watt for their work with Older People

Supporting Children and Young People

Around 8.3% of awards are for work in education. The independent Education Honours Committee has recommended a knighthood for Jonathan Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning. Other senior awards include a CBE for Rebecca Meredith CEO, Transform Trust; and a CBE for Professor Michele Burman, Head, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow for her work on gender-based violence.

At OBE level, there are awards for Lee Major, CEO of the Sutton Trust for his work on social mobility, Colleen Amos, Chief Executive, the Amos Bursary, and Gillian Haworth lately Chief Executive, Intercountry Adoption Centre for her work with vulnerable children and families. There are also OBE’s for husband and wife David and Elizabeth Carney-Haworth from Cornwall, co-founders of Operation Encompass, for their work with children affected by domestic abuse.

Economic Activity

Industry and the economy make up 13% of this honours list. The Economy Committee continued to highlight entrepreneurs, emerging sectors and those who have made striking interventions in established sectors, and has recommended a CBE for Rachel Clacher, Co-founder, Moneypenny and Founder of WemindTheGap for her services to business and her work with disadvantaged young people; a CBE for Dr Shane Legg, Co-founder and Chief Scientist, DeepMind Technologies; and a CBE for Paul Clarke Chief Technology Officer at Ocado.

There are OBE’s for Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive of Data Lab, Maggie Berry, founder of the Women in Technology Network, and Catherine Mead for services to cheese making and the community in the South West of England.

Science, Technology and Health

Around 11% of honours are for work in the Science, Technology and Health sectors. The respective Committees have recommended CBE’s for Professor Kenneth Brown, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow; Dr Adrian Crellin Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Trustee, Cancer Research UK; Ian Findlay, Chief Officer, Paths for All for his work on healthy lifestyles and outdoor activities; Professor Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Exeter; Professor Marie Le Quere, for her work on Climate Change Science; Dr Shubulade Smith, Consultant Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for services to Forensic Psychiatric Intensive Care; and Professor David Southwood, lately Chair, UK Space Agency.

At OBE level, there are awards for Maureen Bell lately a nurse consultant for vulnerable children at NHS Ayrshire and Arran for her work on child protection; and Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, British Heart Foundation.

Published 7 June 2019