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article imageOlympic heroes and entertainers recognized in honors

By Tim Sandle     Dec 31, 2016 in World
London - Twice each year the British establishment hands out 'honors' to public servants and those who have been seen to excel in their field. This year sees a focus on the sports and the arts.
The British honors system is a peculiarity, lacking transparency in how the awards are made and in understanding the different levels of honor and what this conveys in terms of social rank. The system consists of three types of award: honors, decorations and medals; with honors being the focus of the awards announced for the New Year. The system has its supporters and critics.
The UK honors system is overseen by the Cabinet Office Honors and Appointments Secretariat, and the awards are officially published in the Crown newspaper called the London Gazette. In terms of social rank, the honors are:
Knights and Dames (which dates back to medieval chivalry);
The Order of the Bath;
Order of St Michael and St George;
Order of the Companions Honour;
Orders of the British Empire;
British Empire Medal;
Royal Victorian Order;
Royal Victorian Medal;
Royal Red Cross;
Queen's Police Medal;
Queen's Fire Service Medal.
The most common honors are the 'orders of the British Empire' (the term 'British Empire' is a nod back to the days of Britain's imperial past). The ranks are Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE) and Member (MBE). For 2017 some 1,197 honors have been awarded.
This year has seen various people from the world of sport recognized, including Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill. Murray and Farah have been knighted and are now formally addressed as "Sir." Ennis-Hill receives the female equivalent and is now a "Dame." From the entertainment world, The Kinks lead singer Ray Davies and opera singer Bryn Terfel also receive knighthoods. This top award has also been given to actors Mark Rylance and Patricia Routledge; as well as 'music hall' style entertainer Ken Dodd.
Other awards of interest, according to The Guardian, are for sports: Nick Skelton and Charlotte Dujardin, swimmer Sascha Kindred and para-equestrian Sophie Christiansen are made CBE; boxer Nicola Adams, cyclist Katie Archibald and cyclist Jody Cundy are appointed OBE. For acting: named OBE are Naomie Harris, Helen McCrory and Tim Piggott-Smith. Other interesting awards include Victoria Beckham being appointed OBE for services to the fashion industry.
The most controversial honors are the political ones. This year saw Conservative Party member Dominic Johnson receive an honor. He is best known for providing accommodation for David Cameron from time-to-time in London. In addition, David Ord, who gave £25,000 ($30,000) to the Conservative Party when Theresa May became leader has been given a knighthood for his "political service." These awards have been criticized by the opposition Labour Party.
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