They receive medals from the Queen of England and add a "sir" or "lady" to the name of baptism. The New Year's decorations (known by British as New Year's masters) are an ancient tradition in England. Every year, from the end of one year to the beginning of another, Elizabeth II distinguishes British citizens from their deeds, whatever they may be. Writer, actor, comedian and television presenter Michael Palin, model Twiggy and football coach Gareth Southgate are some of the great stars this year. But taking home this price is not a price everyone wants. In fact, some of the chosen people have already rejected it.
They are celebrities, or not, of the world of music, cinema, sports, science, among others. From the violinist Nicola Benedetti, to Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, director Christopher Nolan and actress Sophie Okonedo, British tradition has seen many faces.
This rivalry, established in 1917 by King George V, distinguishes those who performed remarkable work in the fields of art, science, charitable work, and social assistance. The outstanding numbers each year can still receive, instead of the order of the empire, the medal of the British Empire, for recipients who are affiliated, even if they are not members of the order. There are about six different types of decorations.
Michael Palin receives one of them and is the new British "knight". It took the English to the laughter while one of the stars in Monty Python was. About. 40 years after joining comedy in 1969, he is also known for his travel documentaries and has climbed a successful career as a writer and television presenter. Now 75 years old, she opens the curriculum of British royal, along with the model Twiggy, decorated as a "lady" and Southgate, who receives the order of the British Empire.
Among the prominent are Melissa Mead and Colin Crooks, both of whom have a relevant social impact in society. Melissa was hurt by having lost a child in 2014 due to a blood infection, and launched a campaign to raise awareness of this disease, also known as sepsis. Colin Crooks has been honored for the help he has given to poor families in London since the 1980s through the social enterprise Tree Shepherd.
The medals are provided by Queen Elizabeth II herself. But the charm of the ceremony and the imperial rigor seems to take away most of the prize winners, some of whom even refused to take home the merit. From Bowie to actor Jim Broadbent, the story repeats itself. And each explained his rejection of this title.
In 2000, the late singer and songwriter David Bowie was honored with the title of officer in the British Empire, but quickly turned to him. "Honestly, I don't know what it's all about. It's not what I've been working for all my life," he said at the time. In the same year, actor Jim Broadbent, known for playing Horace Slughorn in the Harry Potter saga, was awarded the same title, which he also decided to reject, and remembered his father's "anarchist spirit" who would "be proud" he accepted. the.
A year later also bumped into the list of decorations, with poet Benjamin Zephaniah and writer JG Ballard severely criticizing life in Buckingham Palace.
Long before, in 1977, filmmaker Ken Loach would deny the award. "It's not a club you want to belong to when you look at the bad guys who got it", he said in an interview with the British magazine Radio Times.
The truth is, Michael Palin himself, according to the BBC, was not very excited about the award and said he would make a "quiet celebration". "Just me and a glass of Horlicks and then I go to bed."