Queen Elizabeth II has two occasions each year where she bestows honors on behalf of the British Empire: one on New Years, and the other on her birthday in June.
These honors are drawn up by the government, approved by the Queen herself, and separated into five categories: Member (MBE), Officer (OBE), Commander (CBE), Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE), and Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE). Each one is meant to be in recognition of the recipient's services to the Empire in some way, including authors, academics, politicians and athletes, and in the past year, over 1,100 people were given some kind of recognition.
Of course, the list tends to include some pretty big names, and New Years 2018's was no exception. Read on to see some of the people who will soon be receiving a ceremony in their honor at Buckingham Palace!
Ringo Starr - Knighthood
Easily the biggest name on the list, the other surviving Beatle has finally received a Knighthood a full 21 years after his bandmate, Sir Paul McCartney, for his achievements in music and his charity work. Starr celebrated the occasion by flying to Los Angeles and buying himself a very expensive leather jacket, while Sir Paul shared the news on Twitter with a comment of "Sir Richard Starkey [Starr's real name] has a nice ring to it."
Huge congrats Sir Ringo! Sir Richard Starkey has a nice ring to it. Best drummer best pal! X Paul pic.twitter.com/ew5PuxhEv1— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) December 30, 2017
Barry Gibb - Knighthood
The surviving Gibb and founding member of the absolutely massive band The Bee Gees, Barry Gibb is the only member of the band to receive Knighthood, as honors are not given posthumously except under special circumstances. He didn't forget his brothers though, saying:
"This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten. I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honor. It is as much theirs as it is mine."
Michael Morpurgo - Knighthood
One of Britain's most prolific writers of children's books whose last name isn't Rowling, Morpurgo has been writing best-selling children's books for over 40 years! He's best-known for his 1982 masterpiece War Horse, which was adapted both into a stage show in 2007, and a blockbuster Stephen Spielberg movie in 2011. He's also an avid philanthropist, which factored into his award.
Hugh Laurie - CBE
The veteran star of stage, screen, and music has already received several awards for his contributions to art, and with his being awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, he's one step away from being knighted! I for one intend to call him Sir Dr. House, M.D.
Marc Almond - OBE
Almond's name might not be as familiar as it once was, but as half of the influential synthpop band Soft Cell back in the 70s and 80s, he had a pretty successful career, especially in the UK. The duo were best known for the song "Tainted Love," which sold millions of records and even scored a hit for shock-rocker Marilyn Manson when he covered it in 2001!
When asked to comment on his new Officer award, Almond simply said "I can't be a rebel any more."