The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021 demonstrates the extraordinary efforts made by individuals in all four nations of the United Kingdom during the pandemic.
The List includes those who have worked throughout the crisis, putting others before themselves – from caring neighbours, frontline and community heroes, to those supporting the UK recovery.
The Birthday Honours List 2021 is the most ethnically diverse list to date, with 15% of recipients coming from an ethnic minority background.
In a year that has truly tested the resolve and determination of the country, almost 23% of recipients are recommended for COVID-19 service. These include recipients who have given charitable and voluntary support to communities, service in health and social care, and those who have provided critical infrastructure support.
Recognising the world-beating and extraordinary success of the UK’s vaccination programme, a damehood goes to Kate Bingham, lately Chair, Vaccine Taskforce, for services to the procurement, manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
A damehood also goes to Professor Sarah Gilbert, Saïd Professor of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute for her pivotal role in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
A knighthood is given to Professor Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection, University of Oxford for services to Public Health particularly during COVID-19. CBEs are awarded to Ian McCubbin, Manufacturing Expert on the Vaccine Taskforce Steering Committee, Vaccine Taskforce and Mark Proctor, Global Supply Strategy Director at AstraZeneca. Divya Chadha Manek receives an OBE for her work in the research and development of vaccines and the resulting clinical trials.
This Honours List is an exemplary showcase of what a caring nation we are. British Empire Medals go to brother and sister John Brownhill and Amanda Guest, co-founders of Food4Heroes which delivered food from local chefs to those NHS frontline staff.
A BEM also goes to Rhys Mallows, 25 years old from South Glamorgan who repurposed his whiskey distillery to produce hand sanitiser and Mahtab Morovat for her work in supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic.
The majority of awards are for the contributions people have made in their communities. Of those receiving an award, 62% are recognised for their community work.
Leading a number of high impact contributions by younger people, the youngest recipient is 21 year old Amika George, founder of the #FreePeriods Campaign who receives an MBE for services to education. In campaigning against period poverty, she is joined on the List by friends Clegg Bamber and Anna Miles, also receiving MBEs for their work on the Red Box Project which has delivered free period products in schools across the country.
Singer Lulu receives a CBE for services to music, entertainment and charity, as does sport commentator Sue Barker for services to sport, broadcasting and charity, and former manager of Crystal Palace Football Club, Roy Hodgson for services to football.
Damehoods are awarded to Meg Hillier MP and Andrea Leadsom MP for their parliamentary and political service. Tony Lloyd MP receives a knighthood for parliamentary and public service.
In sport, Director of Rugby at Leeds Rhinos Kevin Sinfield receives an OBE for services to Rugby League Football and charitable fundraising for motor neuron disease. MBEs are also awarded to England footballers Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling for services to charity and racial equality in sport respectively.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
The honours system strives to be inclusive of all of the UK society. Of the 1,129 people who receive an award:
- 986 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level:
- 323 at BEM
- 457 at MBE
- 206 at OBE
- 695 (62%) of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity;
- 567 women are recognised in the List, representing 50% of the total (39% of recipients at CBE level and above are women);
- 15% of the successful candidates come from an ethnic minority background:
- 6.8% of recipients are from an Asian ethnic group;
- 4.2% of recipients are from a Black ethnic group;
- 3.3% of recipients with a mixed ethnic background;
- 0.7% of recipients come from another ethnic background;
- 9% of the successful candidates are disabled or have a long-term health condition;
- 17.3% of recipients considered themselves to come from a lower socio-economic background; and
- 5% of recipients are LGBT.
A further breakdown of the diversity statistics will be available at the new dedicated honours website honours.cabinetoffice.gov.uk which has been launched to improve accessibility, transparency and inclusivity of the honours system. The full Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021 can be found here.