Idris Elba, David Oyelowo, Ebola Fighters To Be Honored By The Queen, Make New Year’s Honors List 2016

The list for those receiving the Queen’s New Year’s Honours has been announced and among 1,196 people who will be recipients of the U.K. honours will be British actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo, as well as the persons who campaigned against the spread of Ebola. The award celebrates those who have helped make life better for others as well as those who are simply excellent at what they do.

Idris Elba and David Oyelowo are both Golden Globe nominees and both are scheduled to be recipients of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) award. Forty-three-year-old Elba has described the honour of his award as being “beyond special.” Idris Elba is most known for his continuing lead role in the hit BBC crime drama, Luther but also has fame for his movie roles, the latest of which saw him playing a villain. For David Oyelowo, who recently played Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2014’s Selma, the award has a special sentimental meaning since the crown helped him on his acting career to begin with.

Prince Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Trust, originally aided Oyelowo by giving him a grant of £325 when he first began pursuing his dream of having an acting career. His words spoke volumes about his gratitude.

“To be honoured by the Queen in this way having been aided by her son’s charity feels like a beautiful full-circle moment.”

This New Year’s Honours list is compromised of 48 percent females which is actually reported to be an increase in the amount of women slated to receive the award. The increase also extends to the senior levels of awards too with 38 percent receiving knighthood/damehood/C-level, which is up from the previous 31 percent.

Veteran actress Imelda Stauton, who is currently performing at the West End theatre, will have her award upgraded from an OBE to a CBE. Barbara Windsor and Sian Phillips are two other veteran actresses who will be receiving damehoods for their outstanding careers. Windor’s fame stems mainly from her roles in the soap opera, Eastenders, and a very cheeky role in the famous British films, Carry On.

Mashable explained that the Queen’s New Year’s Honors Honours are awarded to mainly U.K. nationals or citizens from 15 Commonwealth countries with the foreign secretary being able to recommend foreign nationals for the honorary awards. Nominations for the honour can be made by anyone as long as the nominee is still actively involved in whatever they are nominated for. The honours are then assessed by government committees before being approved by the prime minister and the Queen.

The most commonly awarded ranks and titles include Knights, Dames, Companion of Honour, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Of the 1,196 persons to receive the award it has been stated that over three-quarters of the recipients are involved in outstanding work in their respective communities. Thirteen-yea- old Jonjo Heuerman from Kent will be the youngest person among the lot to receive the award. Heuerman will be given a British Empire medal because of the £250,000 he raised for Cancer Research U.K. The eldest person receiving the honour is 99-year-old Dorothy Smart from Hertforshire; she is being recognized for over five decades of tireless work she puts into her community.

Dr. Michael Jacobs, who led the team that successfully treated British Ebola victims, will be receiving a knighthood and so too will three medics who also helped in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. Matthew Bourne, the man behind the all-male production of Swan Lake, will also be receiving a knighthood.

There has been cases of persons who rejected or returned their awards, with John Lennon and David Bowie are among them.

The full 2016 list is available for viewing here.

[Photo Courtesy of Helga Esteb/Shutterstock]