Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Queen honours list: Who decides who goes on the birthday honours list? Is it the Queen?

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The Queen’s birthday honours list released yesterday, revealing recipients of some of the most coveted awards in the UK. People across the country have received MBE’s CBE’s knighthoods and more for their public services. Many of them received awards for their acts during the pandemic, whether as key workers or volunteering.

Who decides who goes on the birthday honours list?

The birthday honours list is one of two released each year and follows the New Years honours in January.

While the Queen hands out the awards, she is not the one who chooses their recipients.

As with many of her other duties, the Queen acts on the advice of her ministers.

Anyone can nominate someone they believe is worthy for an award, both in public and office.

Once nominated, officials divide candidates into the following nine subject areas:

  • Arts and media
  • Health
  • Parliamentary and political service
  • Education
  • Science and technology
  • Economy
  • Community
  • Voluntary and local services
  • Sports and state

Committees of experts and senior civil servants then sift through the nominees and assess them.

The assessments then pass through a selection committee and draw up the final list.

They comb through applicants independently of Government influence.

Once they have settled on nominees, the Prime Minister submits the list to the Queen.

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The 2020 birthday honours list includes more than 1,000 people, among them entertainers, key workers, health officials and footballers.

People have reacted with joy to find Manchester United player Marcus Rashford’s name on the list for an MBE.

He has received a commendation from the Government for his part in forcing them to U-turn on free school meals.

His campaigning extended the meals through the summer, and he has vowed to carry on.

The 22-year old said he was “honoured” to receive an MBE, but added the Government has more to do.

Mr Rashford said: “Hopefully it inspires more people to do good things.

“It’s a nice moment for me personally, but I feel like I’m still at the beginning of the journey that I set out to try to achieve.”

He added: “What I’d like to do, now that I’m in this position, is just speak directly to the prime minister and really ask for the vouchers to be extended at least until October half term because I think that’s what the families need.”

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