UK Cypriot Yiannis Kyriacos Maos Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham Tech CIC. Recognised with an MBE in the Kings New Year’s Honours List 2023 For services to the Technology Sector. (Solihull, West Midlands).
Britain recognised Queen guitarist Brian May, several English “Lionesses” who won the European women’s soccer championship and diplomats involved in the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in King Charles’ first New Year’s honours list.
Four members of the England women’s soccer team received honours, with captain Leah Williamson awarded an OBE, while the tournament’s golden boot winner Beth Mead, defender Lucy Bronze and all-time top scorer Ellen White received MBEs.
The team’s coach, Dutch national Sarina Wiegman, received an honorary CBE – a type of award given to foreign nationals.
May, a founder member of rock band Queen, was knighted at the end of a year in which he opened Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee concert atop the Victoria Monument – 20 years after he performed on top of Buckingham Palace at the Golden Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth died in September, making the New Year’s honours the first to be awarded by King Charles since he came to the throne. The list is drawn up by independent committees, before it is approved by the prime minister and the monarch.
Melinda Simmons and Deborah Bronnert, Britain’s ambassadors to Kyiv and Moscow respectively, both received damehoods for their services to foreign policy, with other officials who worked on Britain’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also honoured.
The chair of the COP26 climate conference, Alok Sharma, was awarded a knighthood, as were former civil servants Mark Sedwill and Tom Scholar, who were ousted from high-profile roles during the tenures of former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, respectively.
Denise Lewis, an Olympic champion who won gold in the heptathlon the Sydney 2000 games, was made a dame, while fashion designer Mary Quant and artist Grayson Perry were also honoured.
NatWest Chief Executive Alison Rose, the first female CEO of a major British Bank, was awarded a damehood, as was Anita Frew, the first female chair of aerospace firm Rolls Royce.
The New Year’s honours have been awarded since Queen Victoria’s reign in the 19th century and aim to recognise not just well-known figures but people who have contributed to national life through often unsung work over many years.
OBE is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, the MBE a Member of the Order of the British Empire and the CBE a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.