‘The Crown’ Star Imelda Staunton, Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon, Armando Iannucci Named In King’s Birthday Honours

The Crown star Imelda Staunton has joined the list of the UK’s celebrated acting dames, after being given the title in the King’s Birthday Honors list.

Staunton, whose six-decade career includes her role of Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films and the title role in the movie Vera Drake, will join previous acting recipients of the honor, including Emma Thompson, Eileen Atkins, Harriet Walter, Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith.

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The BBC reports Staunton responded to the announcement of her new title: “Theater, film and television are essential to our well-being, stand at the heart of our culture, and are admired throughout the world. I am proud to play my part in this important industry.”

The most heartwarming recognition in this year’s list goes to Alan Bates, the campaigner whose real-life story was told in the hit drama Mr Bates Vs. The Post Office. Bates spent years fighting for justice after more than 900 Post Office colleagues were prosecuted for stealing after faulty software created incorrect accounts across the country. When he was first offered the honor, Bates turned it down because the Post Office’s chief exec Paula Vennells still had her OBE, but she has since had this removed.

Other names from the entertainment world to be recognised in this year’s list include artist Tracey Emin and designer Anya Hindmarch, both being made dames. Writer Armando Iannucci, creator of TV comedy Veep and the movie In the Loop, has been made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

Strictly Come Dancing (the UK’s version of Dancing with the Stars) has two new honorees to its name. Dancer Amy Dowden, who has been treated for cancer and will return to the series this year, receives an MBE. The same honor goes to actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, who became the show’s first deaf contestant and went on to win the contest’s glitterball trophy in 2021.

Duran Duran’s longtime frontman Simon Le Bon has been appointed an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), along with singers Rebecca Ferguson, M-People’s Heather Small and Boney M’s Liz Mitchell.

The Honors List, which is published twice a year, on the monarch’s birthday and on the turn of the new year, highlights British achievers in a range of fields, as well as celebrating the efforts of hundreds of people across the country.

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