The late British novelist Martin Amis was knighted by King Charles in his first birthday honors list

LONDON — Martin Amis, one of the most important British writers of his generation and who died last month, has been knighted by Charles III in his first birthday honors list released late Friday.

Amis, who died of esophageal cancer at the age of 73 at his Florida home, accepted a knighthood for literature shortly before his death. According to the honor roll, his knighthood dates from May 18, the day before his death.

Ian McEwan, a literary best friend of Martin Amis, became a Companion of Honour, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed by the monarch, who ascended the throne last September, after the Queen’s death.

McEwan, author of „Amsterdam” and „Atonement,” said the honor was „a complete surprise” and „a good review.”

Also joining the ranks are Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, and Professor John Bell for his services to medicine and medical research.

Introduced by Charles’ grandfather, King George V, in 1917, the award recognizes „those who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, sciences, medicine or government over a long period of time”. There can only be a maximum of 65 recipients at any one time. Current members include environmentalist David Attenborough, singer-songwriter Elton John and Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

Other household names to be rewarded include former Arsenal footballer-turned-pundit Ian Wright, who was awarded the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, for his sport and his charity work. Davina McCall, who has hosted several major reality shows on British television over the past two decades, including „Big Brother,” will become a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or MBE.

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MI6 foreign intelligence chief Richard Moore has been knighted for his „outstanding contribution” to British foreign policy and national security, leading the organization through an „exceptionally challenging period” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Terry Waite, who was held hostage in Lebanon for nearly five years until late 1991, was also knighted for his services to charity.

Honors do not reward people in the public eye. More than half of the 1,171 recipients, 52%, have done „outstanding work” in their communities in a volunteer or paid capacity, a key focus behind this year’s list, according to the people behind the selection process.

Exactly half of the recipients are women, up from 51.5% last year. However, for the third year in a row women have made up at least half of the birthday honors list.

The oldest recipient, 106-year-old Joan Willett, was awarded the British Empire Medal for her charitable fundraising for the British Heart Foundation, while the youngest, Junior Jay Fruit, 18, received the same honor for services to vulnerable children.

„It’s really amazing and great because it shows that you can get this award no matter how young you are,” Froude said.

11% of awards went to people from minority ethnic backgrounds. Although down from last year’s equivalent of 13.3%, this is higher than the level seen in the 2010s. The proportion of recipients with a disability or long-term health condition was 13%, up from 9.3% last year.

„Our honors system has long been a way of recognizing people who make an incredible contribution to life in Britain and beyond,” said Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden.

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British honors are also given at New Years and when the Prime Minister leaves office. Last week’s list of former prime minister Boris Johnson drew cries of cronyism from the ousted leader’s enemies as he rewarded dozens of his loyal aides and allies with knighthoods and other honours.

Recipients are actually selected by committees of civil servants based on recommendations from the government and the public. These awards are usually presented by the monarch or a senior member of the royal family in his stead during his investiture at Buckingham Palace.

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