IT IS the centenary of the modern-day honours system so it was only fitting that one of the principal awards should have gone to someone of a similar vintage.
Olivia de Havilland, the Oscar-winning actress from Hollywood’s golden age, who is preparing to turn 101, has been made a dame for services to drama.
She joins the newly-titled Sir Billy Connolly and Dame Julie Walters among more than 1,000 people recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Sir Billy, whose often irreverent stand-up comedy once made him something of an anti-establishment figure, is knighted at the age of 74 for his services to entertainment and charity.
Twenty years after he was knighted, the former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney is upgraded with a Companion of Honour for services to music, alongside the author, JK Rowling.
Ms Rowling, who is also marking two decades since the publication of the first book in the best-selling Harry Potter franchise, is honoured for services to literature and philanthropy.
Ed Sheeran, the Halifax-born singer and songwriter, receives an MBE for services to music and charity, as does singer Emeli Sande, for services to music.
Judy Murray, the mother of tennis champion Andy, is given an OBE for services to tennis, women in sport and charity, alongside comedian David Walliams, who is recognised for services to charity and the arts.
The former SAS soldier and best-selling author, Andy McNab, receives a CBE for services to literacy and charity, while broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky is given an OBE for services to Holocaust commemoration.
Gloria Hunniford, the TV host who lost her daughter, fellow presenter Caron Keating, to cancer, gets an OBE for services to cancer charities through breast screening services and cancer support.
Sarah Lancashire, who starred in the West Yorkshire police drama Happy Valley, and Patricia Hodge, who played Miranda Hart’s mother in the BBC’s Miranda, both receive OBEs for services to drama.
Among business leaders to be recognised is the Yorkshire-born founder of Iceland supermarket, Malcolm Walker, who is knighted for services to retailing, entrepreneurship and charity. Brothers Brian and Alan Stannah, who built the family-run stairlift company bearing their name, are given MBEs for services to British manufacturing, and Sir Terence Conran, founder of the Habitat empire, is upgraded with a Companion of Honour.
Britain’s last Dambuster, George “Johnny” Johnson, who was the subject of a petition supported by the TV star Carol Vorderman for a knighthood, receives an MBE. Mr Johnson, 95, is given the honour for services to Second World War remembrance and the community in Bristol, while Jonathan Phipps, chairman of D-Day Revisited, is given the same honour for services to D-Day veterans.
One in ten of this year’s recipients are from black, Asian and minority communities, the highest-ever proportion. Women make up half the list, although at the highest levels of CBE and above, 57 per cent of the recipients are male. Around three-quarters of the awards are for work in the community.