Branagh, Barlow and Winslet top Queen's honours list
16/06/2012 - 11:08:18
Actor Kenneth Branagh, Take That star Gary Barlow, Kate Winslet and the designer behind Kate Middleton's wedding dress are recognised in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours list today.
Branagh’s knighthood left his heart “fit to burst” while Winslet said her CBE made her “very proud to be a Brit”.
Belfast-born Hollywood star Branagh is being recognised for services to drama and to the community in the North, said: “I feel humble, elated and incredibly lucky. When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team.
“I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt and my heart’s fit to burst.”
The list, which sees the revival of the “working-class gong”, showcases the best of British talent, with awards also going to actresses Jenny Agutter and Amanda Redman, and chart-topping choirmaster Gareth Malone.
As Britain prepares for the Olympics, sporting stars are not forgotten, with gongs for golf world number one Luke Donald as well as former Wales rugby international Shane Williams and former England goalkeeper David James.
Barlow’s OBE for services to the entertainment industry and to charity comes just days after he masterminded the triumphant diamond jubilee concert for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. He is also at number one with his Jubilee anthem Sing and appears to have become the “go to” pop star for royal occasions.
The 41-year-old said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to be in the company of so many brilliant people who I know have received an OBE.
“Growing up, I never dreamt that one day I’d be getting one myself. I enjoy every minute of the work I do, with a lot of it being a reward in itself, so for somebody to decide I should get recognised for that is just amazing.”
Oscar-winning actress Winslet, 36, who achieved worldwide fame for her role in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, receives a CBE for services to drama, 100 years after the sinking of the “unsinkable” ship.
She said she was surprised and honoured, adding: “I feel deeply proud to receive this, as a part of an ever-expanding community of British actors and film-makers who are fortunate enough to be able to contribute to an international industry. This makes me very proud to be a Brit.”
Creative director for fashion house Alexander McQueen Sarah Burton – who designed the Duchess of Cambridge’s striking gown for the royal wedding last year – gets an OBE for services to the fashion industry.
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