Tennis No. 1 Murray, Kinks Frontman Knighted in U.K. Honors List

  • Lloyd’s of London CEO made a dame; big business mainly absent
  • Mo Farah, Victoria Beckham, Mark Rylance also given awards

World tennis number one Andy Murray and Ray Davies, frontman of 60s band The Kinks, were knighted in the U.K.’s New Year’s Honors List, which also made Lloyd’s of London Chief Executive Officer Inga Beale a dame and rewarded dozens of Olympic and Paralympic champions.

Andy Murray

Photographer: Francois Nel/Getty Images

The award for Murray, 29, caps a year in which he rose to the top of the rankings after winning Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal. He will be allowed to use the title “Sir” in front of his name, as will Davies, 72, who as lead singer and songwriter for The Kinks had hits including “You Really Got Me,” “Sunny Afternoon” and “All Day and All of the Night.”

Also rewarded with a knighthood was Mo Farah, 33, who moved to London from Somalia aged eight and is Britain’s most successful track and field athlete, chalking up four Olympic gold medals and five World Championship titles in distance running. Jessica Ennis-Hill, 30, a heptathlete who was a star of the London Olympics in 2012, was made a dame.

Four-Minute Mile

A total of 1,197 people, representing “the very best of our nation,” were granted awards, according to a statement from the Cabinet Office. Just over half are women, 9.3 percent are from ethnic minorities, and 8.5 percent have some form of disability, making the list “the most diverse ever,” it said.

Roger Bannister

Photographer: MJ Kim/Getty Images

Roger Bannister, 87, the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes, was one of six people to be made Companions of Honour, an order which can only have 65 non-royal members at any one time. The others included the deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie, 51, and Shirley Williams, 86, a former member of both houses of Parliament who broke away from the Labour Party in 1981 to co-found the Social Democratic Party.

The honors, awarded twice a year, are bestowed in the name of Queen Elizabeth II and recommended by a panel that considers suggestions from government departments and political parties as well as members of the public. Award winners range from athletes and TV celebrities to Dorothy Pickering, head dinner lady at a primary school in central England, Induji Popat, a Hindu priest, and Stanley Shaw, a cutler.

Business Names

Inga Beale

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Beale, who has been CEO of Lloyd’s since January 2014, was the most prominent business name on a list with little representation from the boardrooms of Britain’s biggest companies. Former PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP Chairman Ian Powell, who on Sunday takes over the chairmanship of Capita Plc, was knighted, while M&C Saatchi Plc Chairman Jeremy Sinclair, Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts and Institute of Directors Director General Simon Walker were made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE.

Bernard Bulkin, a director at Ludgate Investments Ltd. and former chief scientist at BP Plc, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, as were John Lelliott, former chief financial officer at the Crown Estate, and Sheila Nicoll, head of public policy at Schroders Plc.

Julian Brazier, a defense minister, and former pensions minister Steve Webb were knighted, as were veteran comedian Ken Dodd, opera singer Bryn Terfel and Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance.  

After a year in which the U.K. came second in the medal tables at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, sporting achievement runs through the list, with more than 100 gold medalists rewarded. They include two married couples: cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny, who were awarded CBEs, and hockey players Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh, who got an OBE and MBE respectively.

Other notable awards include:

  • Damehoods for television actress Patricia Routledge, best known for her role in the sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances,” and Kath Grainger, a medal-winner in five successive Olympics
  • CBEs for London School of Economics professor Paul Cheshire, fashion accessories designer Anya Hindmarch, children’s author Shirley Hughes, artist Chris Ofili and former newsreader Angela Rippon 
  • CBE for Nick Skelton, who finally won an individual show-jumping gold medal at the age of 58 at his seventh Olympic games in Rio
  • OBEs for fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, Oscar-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, author Aminatta Forna and former U.K. government adviser and MIT economics professor John Van Reenen
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