A police officer killed during the Westminster terror attack and a pensioner who tried to save the MP Jo Cox have both received bravery awards as the Queen’s birthday honours and gallantry awards are announced.
PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed as he guarded the Houses of Parliament after terrorist Khalid Masood ran over dozens of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, has been posthumously awarded the George Medal as part of the Civilian Gallantry list.
Speaking about the award, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “He paid the ultimate price for his selfless actions.
“It is an honour that could not be more deserved and I know it will mean a great deal to all those who knew and loved him.”
Former miner Bernard Kenny has also been awarded the George Medal.
The 78-year-old was stabbed and seriously injured when he tried to stop neo-Nazi Thomas Mair attacking Labour MP Jo Cox in his home village of Birstall, West Yorkshire, one year ago.
Famous names to make the Queen’s birthday honours list include Sir Paul McCartney who has been made a Companion of Honour.
Sir Paul said, “I’m very happy about this huge honour and with the news coming on my birthday weekend and Father’s Day it makes it colossal.”
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has also been made a Companion of Honour, along with cook Delia Smith.
The Companion of Honour is a special award given to those who’ve made a lasting contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government.
On the news he had received a knighthood Comedian Billy Connolly said: “I don’t know quite how to handle it.
“I’m very pleased. I’ve an ordinary background and it was never on the horizon that I would get this.”
There’s an OBE for comedian and author David Walliams for fundraising.
“I am very lucky to have worked with some brilliant people in my career and charity work, so for me this is recognition for them too,” he said.
“The news made me happy, but nobody is happier than my mum.”
Musicians Emeli Sande, and Ed Sheeran both get MBEs and actresses Julie Walters and June Whitfield both become Dames.
Judy Murray has seen both her tennis player sons Andy and Jamie pick up awards. Now she gets an OBE.
She told Sky News: “Its lovely that you’re recognised for making a contribution to your sport and to your charity as well.
“And of course they’re two things that I love doing.
“But having been to the palace twice with Jamie and Andy, you hear all sorts of inspirational stories and the diversity of the types of awards and the work that people do. Its a wonderful part of our heritage.”
100 years since the first Order of the British empire was awarded this birthday honours list has been described as the most diverse ever. For the first time 10% of the recipients are from black, Asian or other ethnic minority communities.
In total 1,109 people have received an award, once again half of the honours have been awarded to women, with over two thirds of the awards going to community volunteers.