The Queen recognises high achievers

Rocker Rod Stewart, 61, receives a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List and Her Majesty’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, 25 – recently voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year – gets an MBE.

The equestrian is the first member of the Royal Family to receive an honour in the New Year list.

OBEs go to actor Hugh Laurie, 55, who now stars in the US series House, and Linda Bennett, founder of fashion chain LK Bennett.

Coronation Street’s Johnny Briggs, who played dodgy businessman Mike Baldwin in the soap, gets an MBE – as does TV presenter June Sarpong.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established in June 1917 by King George V.

These are (in order of importance):
Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE)
Knight Commander or Dame Commander (KBE or DBE)
(Allowing the receivers to use the title Sir or Dame)
Commander (CBE)
Officer (OBE)
Member (MBE)

A new announcement says that in future those honoured can wear an emblem – in the form of a buttonhole badge – to signify their status.