Robert Plant and Terry Pratchett win UK honors

Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:08pm EST
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By Tim Castle

LONDON (Reuters) - Rock singer Robert Plant, fantasy author Terry Pratchett and Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton were all honored by Britain's Queen Elizabeth on Wednesday.

The queen also granted awards to members of Britain's Beijing Olympics team, including a knighthood for triple cycling gold medalist Chris Hoy, the country's most successful Olympian at a single games for 100 years.

The credit crunch even made an appearance in the traditional New Year's honors list, with a knighthood for Nick Macpherson, the most senior civil servant at the government's Treasury, for his "extraordinary work" on tackling the financial crisis.

Plant, 60, most famous for fronting rock band Led Zeppelin in the 1970s, becomes a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) under Britain's ancient and complex system of honorary titles.

Plant has forged a successful career since Led Zeppelin's demise in 1980, recently collaborating with singer Alison Krauss on the acclaimed album "Raising Sand."

Pratchett, 60, best known for his satirical "Discworld" fantasy series, becomes a knight, one of the queen's most important honors, and will now be addressed as a "Sir."

"There are times when phrases such as 'totally astonished' just don't do the job," he said in a statement.

"I am of course delighted and honored and needless to say, flabbergasted."   Continued...

<p>Singer Robert Plant performs during the "Hommage a Ahmet Ertegun" show at the 40th Montreux Jazz festival in Montreaux in this June 30, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Dominic Favre</p>