Queen Elizabeth II, waves from the balcony of the Broadway Theater during a day of engagements in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, England, July 16, 2015.
Queen Elizabeth II, during a day of engagements in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, England, July 16, 2015. Max Mumby—Indigo/Getty Images

Paul McCartney and J.K. Rowling Promoted in Queen's Birthday Honors List

Jun 17, 2017

(LONDON) — Paul McCartney and J.K. Rowling just got promoted, so to speak, in Britain's hierarchy.

Twenty years after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Paul McCartney is being upgraded with a Companion of Honor award for services to music, alongside J.K. Rowling for her services to literature and philanthropy, in the queen's Birthday Honors list.

The former Beatle and the Harry Potter author join a raft of heroes, luminaries and other notables being recognized for their contributions to life in Britain.

"I'm very happy about this huge honor and with the news coming on my birthday weekend and Father's Day it makes it colossal!" McCartney said.

Others winning recognition included Police Constable Keith Palmer, who was killed as he confronted an attacker with a knife outside Parliament, and Bernard Kenny, a passer-by who tried to protect lawmaker Jo Cox from being stabbed and killed.

Academy Award-winner Olivia de Havilland, who turns 101 next month, also became a dame — as well as the oldest woman to become a dame in this centenary year of the modern-day system. The "Gone with the Wind" actress was honored for services to drama.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was honored for services to music and charity while Judy Murray, mother of tennis champion Andy Murray, was honored for her work for tennis, women in sports and charity.

British honors are awarded at New Year's and on the queen's official birthday in June. The honorees are actually chosen by civil servant committees based on nominations from the government and the public. In all, 1,109 people were on the queen's Birthday Honors list Friday.

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