Screen queen, golf kings get royal honors

Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:01pm EST
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By Estelle Shirbon

LONDON (Reuters) - After playing the mother of Queen Elizabeth in "The King's Speech," actress Helena Bonham Carter will take part in a real-life royal performance when she receives an honor from the monarch herself.

The actress is among close to 1,000 people from all walks of life whose achievements are recognized in the annual New Year's Honors List.

Northern Irish golfers Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, who won the U.S. and British opens this year, are also on the list, capping an outstanding year for UK golf.

Most of the people honored with knighthoods or a variety of slightly lesser traditional titles such as Commander, Officer or Member of the Order of the British Empire (CBE, OBE and MBE), are unknown to the public.

Among them is former teenage drug dealer and gang member Chris Preddie, now 24, who renounced crime after his brother was shot dead and now campaigns against knife and gun crime among black youths in London.

Preddie is related to two brothers who murdered a 10-year-old boy in 2000, a crime that shocked Britain. The victim's father told British media he objected to Preddie being honored with an OBE.

TV producer Peter Bazalgette, credited with popularising the "Big Brother" reality show format across the globe, will receive a knighthood - becoming Sir Peter - which may please legions of Big Brother fans but dismay critics who say the show is vulgar.

PALACE POMP   Continued...

<p>Actress Helena Bonham Carter poses as she arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills, California November 30, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>