Queen Guitarist Brian May Among Artists, Leaders and More on Top U.K. Honors List


Queen guitarist Brian May was among artists, designers, community leaders and members of England’s women’s soccer team on the U.K.’s New Year’s Honors list.

More than 1,100 people were included on the list announced Friday, which was the first to be signed off by King Charles III, the Associated Press reported. The list is an annual tradition in the country, celebrating people’s achievements and service.  

May received a knighthood for services to music and his charity work. In response to the recognition, the former Queen guitarist, who also holds a doctorate in astrophysics, said, “I will regard the knighthood not so much as a reward, but more as a charge — a commission — for me to continue to fight for justice — to be a voice for those who have no voice.  I will endeavour to be worthy — to be that Knight in Shining Armour.” 

The AP also reported that Mary Quant, a 92-year-old designer best known for popularizing the miniskirt during the 1960s, was recognized for her service to fashion. The Order of the Companions of Honor she received came seven years after she was made a dame — the female equivalent of a knight — in recognition of her designs.  

Other honorees include artist Grayson Perry, who was knighted for services to the arts, and U.K. diplomats, who were recognized for shaping the country’s response to the war in Ukraine.  

According to the AP, half of this year’s honors went to women. Some of them were members of the England soccer team that won the 2022 Women’s European Championship — Captain Leah Williamson received an OBE, while teammates Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White were all made MBEs.  

People campaigning for environmental and climate change action, youth engagement and combating discrimination were also honored, as were several Jewish community leaders, including Britain’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis. 

Nominations for the top honors are submitted to the government’s Cabinet Office before being vetted by a committee. They are then passed on to the prime minister and the monarch for approval. 

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