Birthday Honours: It's the name of the Dame

Actress Angelina Jolie leads the list of showbiz stars recognised today by the Queen in her Birthday Honours List.

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  • Angelina Jolie was among the stars recognised in the Honours List
    Angelina Jolie was among the stars recognised in the Honours List

The star receives an Honorary Damehood for her work to fight sexual violence.

Jolie was in London this week to co-chair the End Sexual Violence in Conflict global summit with Foreign Secretary William Hague.

She is recognised in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Birthday Honours list, for exceptional service to Britain overseas.

The 39-year-old Oscar winner, known by millions for her roles in Hollywood blockbusters including Tomb Raider and current release Maleficent, has been a leading lady in cinema for more than a decade.

But the special envoy for the UN High Commissioner For Refugees, said: "To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me.

"It is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.

"Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself.

"I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine."

The star co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative with Mr Hague in May 2012 and is described as having made an "exceptional contribution".

Another Dame has received a further Royal honour. Actress Dame Maggie Smith is made a Companion of Honour.

Golfer Laura Davies becomes a dame, as do best-selling author Hilary Mantel, economist Katharine Barker, and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.

Ms Mantel said: "I'm delighted to receive this honour. It's given for 'services to literature,' but I see it not so much as a reward for the past, more as encouragement for the future.

"It means a great deal to have my efforts recognised."

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis receives a knighthood. The three-times Oscar winner said: "I'm entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure."

Another actor surprised by his award was Damien Lewis, who was given an OBE. The London-born star, known worldwide for his role in American TV series Homeland, said he decided to do "the very un-British thing" and accept his OBE.

He said: "I was very surprised but very happy to accept. I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment."

A host of famous faces are among the latest set of honours, including awards for stars of sport, stage and screen, as well as ordinary members of the public. More than 1100 people receive an award.

Britain's Winter Olympians joined their summer predecessors with a flurry of awards.

Skeleton gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold, who won Britain's first gold medal of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, receives an MBE.

Visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans, who won Britain's first gold medal in the Winter Paralympics, also picked up an MBE.

Singer-songwriter Cerys Matthews also received an MBE, while classical pianist Andras Schiff was knighted.

Matthews, 45, said: "I am passionate about sharing music, through writing books, making documentaries and through the wonder that is radio and to receive recognition for this is incredible."


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