Rod Stewart and Vera Lynn Lead U.K. Honors for Queen’s Birthday

  • Princeton’s Angus Deaton knighted for ‘services to economics’
  • Astronaut Tim Peake, Footballer Alan Shearer also honored

Vera Lynn and Rod Stewart, British singers who epitomize the determination of wartime and the hedonism of the 1970s respectively, lead the list of those honored to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.

Lynn, 99, whose music helped Britain weather the Blitz in World War II, buoying the spirits of soldiers with songs reminding them of home, becomes a Companion of Honour, while Stewart is knighted for songs including “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Hot Legs.”

There are also awards for astronaut Tim Peake, who becomes a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, and Angus Deaton, the Nobel Prize-winning Princeton University economist, who is knighted. Stewart and Deaton will receive their awards at a ceremony where they will be touched on the shoulders with a sword, after which they can put the title “sir” before their names.

“Each recipient exemplifies the very best of our nation,” the government’s Cabinet Office said in a statement announcing the awards to 1,149 people, ranging from Lynn to Gary Doyle, a 21 year-old plumber’s apprentice who receives a British Empire Medal after winning an international competition in his trade. The list “recognizes the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people right across the United Kingdom.”

Damon Buffini, former managing director of Permira Advisers LLP, is awarded a knighthood for his voluntary work, including support for social enterprises. Buffini is a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a trustee of the Prince’s Trust.

There is also a knighthood for John Kingman, who was founding chief executive of U.K. Financial Investments and oversaw the sale of state holdings in Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc. He becomes a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

Sports stars receiving honors include England cricket captain Alastair Cook and former England soccer player Alan Shearer, who become Commanders of the Order of the British Empire.

The honors, awarded twice yearly, are bestowed in the name of the queen and recommended by a panel that considers suggestions from government departments and political parties as well as from members of the public.

Women receive 47 percent of the awards and 90 recipients come from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, the highest-ever number, according to the Cabinet Office. About 70 percent are awarded to people who do work in their local communities.

The actors Penelope Wilton and Brian Blessed are also honored along with Julia Peyton-Jones, director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, and soul singer Ruby Turner.

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