Cherie Blair was awarded the CBE for her services to women’s issues and charity.
Mrs Blair, 58, has used the prominence she gained as wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair to raise both funds and awareness for a wide range of charities at home and overseas.
Among others, she is patron of Breast Cancer Care, Refuge, Scope and the Community Foundation for Merseyside, honorary vice-president – and formerly president – of Barnado’s, and president of the Loomba Foundation, which campaigns to alleviate the plight of widows around the world.
In 2008, she founded the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which runs programmes in many parts of the developing world, including Africa, India and the Middle East, to help women set up and expand businesses, in order to gain financial independence.
Mrs Blair was appointed vice-chair of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership in 2011 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, advising the US government on how its foreign policy can support women’s economic empowerment around the world.
Following the announcement that she had been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a spokesman for Mrs Blair said: “Cherie Blair is very honoured to receive this award.”
Richard Hawkes, chief executive of Scope, said Mrs Blair had supported dozens of events which had raised £750,000 for Scope.