A former leading banker whose career was tainted by scandal, the gynaecologist who helped deliver the first child of Prince William and actress Angela Lansbury were among the recipients of Britain's New Year Honours, announced yesterday.
For the first time since the list was founded in 1917 there were more women (51 per cent) who received awards than men.
They were led by Lansbury, 88, the British-born actress best known for her role as amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the US television series Murder, She Wrote, who was made a Dame of the British Empire.
Gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, 70, who delayed his retirement to assist at the birth of Prince George in July, was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order - a personal honour from Queen Elizabeth.
Former Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker, who lost out on the top job at the central bank after being drawn into the Libor-rigging scandal, was also given a knighthood for his "substantial contribution to the stability of the UK economy and financial system".
The twice-yearly list of the great and the good - issued at the New Year and on the Queen's birthday in June - recognises those who have succeeded in their personal field, or who have contributed to their community.
Simon Rattle, the British conductor of the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, was awarded the Order of Merit, given for great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning and science.
The other Order of Merit recipient was heart surgeon Professor Magdi Yacoub. Opera singer Katherine Jenkins, 33, who raises money for charities that assist injured servicemen, was awarded an OBE.
But most of the 1,195 people on the list are not well-known - three-quarters have been honoured for their work in their communities, and two are Downing Street cleaners.
Madeleine Josephine Hennell and Henrietta Shorter received British Empire Medals for their work serving five prime ministers going back to Margaret Thatcher.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg