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King’s Birthday Honours 2024: All those honoured in Cambridgeshire as John Rutter is knighted and Prof Christine Holt is made a CBE

The King’s Birthday Honours List has been revealed - and the Cambridge region is very well represented.

From a parish councillor who has served more than 50 years to a leading cancer research scientist, those who have made a difference have been honoured.

Some of those receiving King's Birthday Honours
Some of those receiving King's Birthday Honours

More than 90 people from East Anglia have made the list, published by the Cabinet Office, which said the focus is on those who have initiated substantial change where it was needed, and developed innovative solutions that have had an immeasurable impact.

Including community champions, innovative social entrepreneurs, pioneering scientists, passionate health workers and dedicated volunteers, the recipients from the region make up 8.6 per cent of the total number of recipients receiving honours this year.

Anyone can nominate someone for an honour. If you know someone who has achieved fantastic things worthy of recognition, you can nominate them at https://www.gov.uk/honours.

Here are those honoured in Cambridgeshire.

Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire

Evelyn Taylor OBE, from Peterborough, founder of Eve Taylor London, has been made a dame for services to business.

The family-run beauty brand offers skincare and aromatherapy, using natural oils and botanical extracts. Eve started the business in 1963 and still works in it today.

Knights Bachelor

Milner Therapeutics Symposium at West Road Concert Hall, diector Tony Kouzarides . Picture: Keith Heppell
Milner Therapeutics Symposium at West Road Concert Hall, diector Tony Kouzarides . Picture: Keith Heppell

Prof Tony Kouzarides says his knighthood “reinforces the importance of translating basic research into therapies”.

The University of Cambridge professor of cancer biology has been given the honour for his services to healthcare innovation and delivery.

Prof Kouzarides, who is senior group leader at the Gurdon Institute and director and co-founder of the Milner Institute, did his PhD at the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral work at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology on the cancer-inducing potential of human cytomegalovirus.

The Kouzarides lab has been studying epigenetic modifications for many years. It is now investigating the functions of mRNA modifications and their connections to cancer.

Prof Kouzarides is a co-founder and ex-director of Abcam plc and a co-founder and current director of STORM Therapeutics.

“I am delighted to receive this honour, which reinforces the importance of translating basic research into therapies by engaging academic researchers with healthcare businesses,” he said.

Composer John Rutter who has been made a Knight Bachelor for services to music, in the King's Birthday Honours list. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA
Composer John Rutter who has been made a Knight Bachelor for services to music, in the King's Birthday Honours list. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA

Dr John Rutter CBE, the composer and conductor from Huntingdon, has been knighted for services to music, and said he was “deeply grateful”.

The musician is best known for his choral compositions, including Christmas carols, anthems and extended works such as the Gloria, the Requiem and the Magnificat.

Among his most famous works are five volumes of the Carols for Choirs anthology series, a collaboration with Sir David Willcocks.

He has also had compositions commissioned for the late Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee and for the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 2011.

He said: “Music has given me a lifetime of joy and fulfilment, but I never dreamed that one day it would bring me the honour of a knighthood. I’m deeply grateful.”

After learning to play his parents’ piano as a child, he had his first compositions published while reading music at the University of Cambridge’s Clare College, and served as director of music at the same college from 1975 to 1979.

It was Sir David, a director of King’s College Choir, who took an interest in his compositions, encouraged him to conduct and recommended him to Oxford University Press, who have been his publisher ever since.

In 1981, Sir John founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, which he conducts and has made many recordings of the choral repertoire, including under his own label Collegium Records.

For the late Queen’s Golden Jubilee he composed a version of Psalm 150, which was performed at the Jubilee thanksgiving service in St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

He was commissioned to write a new anthem, entitled This Is The Day, for the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011, which was performed at Westminster Abbey during the service.

More recently, the first two choral items sung at the late Queen’s platinum jubilee national service of thanksgiving in June 2022 were arrangements by Sir John.

At the coronation of King Charles, six of the pieces performed were arrangements by Sir John.

Sir John was made a CBE in the 2007 New Year Honours, for services to music, and in 2023 he became a fellow of The Ivors Academy, joining just 24 fellows including John Adams, Pierre Boulez CBE, Kate Bush CBE and Sir Elton John.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Prof Peter John Clarkson, director of Cambridge Engineering Design Centre and co-director of Cambridge Public Health, receives an OBE for services to engineering and design.

Prof Clarkson gained a BA in electrical sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1984 and followed this by becoming Doctor of Philosophy (electrical machines) in 1988.

He returned to the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 1995 following a seven-year spell with PA Consulting Group’s technology division. He was appointed director of the Engineering Design Centre in 1997 and a full professor in 2004. He has been directly involved in the teaching of design at all levels of the undergraduate course.

Prof Christine Holt, professor of development neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. Picture: University of Cambridge
Prof Christine Holt, professor of development neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. Picture: University of Cambridge

Prof Christine Holt, professor of development neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, receives a CBE for services to neuroscience.

“I’m surprised and thrilled to receive this honour. It’s a marvellous recognition of the research that has involved a whole team of talented, dedicated and inspiring colleagues over many years,” she said.

Prof Holt received a BSc Hons degree in biological sciences from the University of Sussex in 1977 and a PhD degree in zoology from King’s College, London University in 1982.

She did her postdoctoral training in the physiology department at Oxford University where she was also a junior research fellow at Worcester College, and in the biology department at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). In 1992, she joined the faculty at UCSD and became a tenured associate professor in 1996. She moved to the University of Cambridge in 1997 as a lecturer in the Anatomy Department and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. In 2003, she became the professor of developmental neuroscience in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience.

Prof Patrick Maxwell. Picture: Keith Heppell
Prof Patrick Maxwell. Picture: Keith Heppell

Prof Patrick Maxwell, Regius professor of physic and head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge, is made a CBE for services to medical research.

As a clinician scientist, Prof Maxwell has been centrally involved in a series of discoveries that have revealed how changes in oxygenation are sensed, and how genetic alterations cause kidney disease.

Patrick is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Academy of Medical Sciences, director of Cambridge University Health Partners and a non-executive director of Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge Enterprise, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and the International Biotechnology Trust.

Prof David Menon, founder of the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, has been awarded a CBE. He is head of division of anaesthesia at the University of Cambridge.

Prof Menon, who is noted for his national and global clinical and research leadership in traumatic brain injury, is honoured for his services to neurocritical care.

He said: “I am deeply honoured to be nominated for a CBE and accept it on behalf of all those who have worked with me, during what has been – and continues to be – a very rewarding career.”

Prof Barbara Sahakian, professor of clinical neuropsychology in the Department of Psychiatry and a fellow at Clare Hall, receives a CBE.

Prof Sahakian, who is known for her research aimed at understanding the neural basis of cognitive, emotional and behavioural dysfunction in order to develop more effective pharmacological and psychological treatments, is honoured for her services to research in human cognitive processes.

Prof Sahakian said: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award which recognises my research on human cognitive processes in health, psychiatric disorders and neurological diseases. I am grateful to my PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and colleagues for their collaboration.”

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Alexandra Bolton, director of the Climate Governance Initiative. Picture: University of Cambridge
Alexandra Bolton, director of the Climate Governance Initiative. Picture: University of Cambridge

Alexandra Bolton, director of the Climate Governance Initiative, is awarded an OBE for services to the built and natural environment.

From 2017 to 2022, Alexandra was executive director of the Centre for Digital Built Britain, a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge. It sought to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors can use a digital approach to better design, build, operate and integrate the built environment.

The centre’s founding mission was “to develop and demonstrate policy and practical insights that will enable the exploitation of new and emerging technologies, data and analytics to enhance the natural and built environment, thereby driving up commercial competitiveness and productivity, as well as citizen quality of life and well-being”.

Alexandra also served as deputy head of the National Digital Twin programme, an ambitious programme to enable an ecosystem of connected digital twins across the built environment, and the founding home of the UK’s Digital Twin Hub. A digital twin is a virtual representation of an object in the real world, with a two-way connection between them.

She now heads the Climate Governance Initiative, which supports board directors all over the world to steer their organisations to reduce carbon emissions.

The Initiative was founded by the World Economic Forum in 2019, and is based at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.

The Climate Governance Initiative works with chairs and non-executive directors, and through its growing network of 32 Chapters, has a presence in 73 countries, covering over one third of global CO2 emissions.

Alexandra studied chemical engineering at Newnham College, Cambridge, and went on to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Law.

She said: “This wonderful and humbling recognition makes me in turn recognise the talented people who, throughout my career, have selflessly given me support, guidance and advice. I am enormously grateful for the honour, and for all those who have helped me along the way.”

Dr Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-TechE. Picture: Agri-TechE
Dr Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-TechE. Picture: Agri-TechE

Dr Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-TechE, is “humbled and honoured” to have been awarded an OBE for services to agri-technologies and farming.

Agri-TechE is a membership network that connects farmers and growers with researchers, technologists, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Its agri-tech innovation ecosystem is internationally recognised for the quality of the collaborations catalysed and for its role in accelerating the development and adoption of novel technologies.

Dr Clarke, from Ely, has led the organisation from inception, drawing on her experience of scientific research and knowledge exchange with farmers. She has spent a career working at the interface of government, industry and academia.

“I am humbled and honoured to be awarded an OBE for agri-technologies and farming and would like to pay tribute to the inspiring network, alongside whom I have the daily privilege of working,” she said.

Dr Clarke continued: “I see this as an accolade not just for myself, but also recognition of the contribution that Agri-TechE members’ world-leading science and innovative farming practices are making towards food security, agricultural productivity, and environmental sustainability of the global agri-food value chain.”

Prof Anne Davis, professor of mathematical physics at the University of Cambridge receives an OBE for services to higher education and to scientific research. She was the first woman to be appointed a professor in the Faculty of Mathematics at the university. Her research mainly concerns cosmology, astrophysics and string theory.

Paul Fannon, a fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and volunteer at the UK Maths Trust, has been made an OBE for services to education
Paul Fannon, a fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and volunteer at the UK Maths Trust, has been made an OBE for services to education

Paul Fannon, a fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and volunteer at the UK Maths Trust, has been made an OBE for services to education.

He said: “It is an immense privilege to be working with the brightest young minds and to guide them to fulfil their potential. I am extremely honoured and grateful for this award, which recognises the importance of nurturing our young talent.”

Currently a lecturer in machine learning and mathematical biology at the University of Cambridge, Paul has spent the last 20 years working on mathematics curricula, both in the UK and internationally, aimed at making data science more accessible and smoothing the transition from school to university.

Paul studied at Christ’s as an undergraduate, joining in 1998 and studying natural sciences.

He taught in schools for many years before being drawn back to academia through educational research.

He is interested in developing thinking skills in mathematics and statistical modelling in educational research.

Becoming increasingly involved in undergraduate teaching, he helped the university in setting admissions tests for the quantitative subjects.

He helped develop the new A-level mathematics curriculum, has been involved with writing several textbooks for the new course and is chief examiner for the International Baccalaureate, for which he helped develop a new applications and interpretations mathematics course.

A fellow of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications since 2020, he also has outreach and widening participation roles at the university.

A favourite project has been leading the science strand of the Christ’s-King’s Bridging Course, helping students from non-standard backgrounds flourish as they move from school to university. He won the CUSU Student-Led Teaching Awards for undergraduate supervision in 2018 and 2020.

The UK Maths Trust, for which he volunteers, is the leading charity for advancing the education of young people in mathematics.

Stephen Johnson-Proctor, from St Neots, has been made an MBE for services to probation. He was regional probation director for the East of England Probation Service.

Prof Shruti Kapila, professor of history and politics at the University of Cambridge, is made an OBE for services to research in humanities.

Born and educated in India, Prof Kapila graduated from Panjab University Chandigarh with top honours before reading for a Master’s in Modern History at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. She received her doctorate from SOAS, London University.

Prior to Cambridge, she held a research position at the University of Oxford and was Assistant Professor (in conjunction with a University Chair for Career Development) at Tufts University, USA.

Her principal fields of scholarship and publications are Modern and Contemporary India (c.1770 to the present) and Global Political Thought.

Members of the Order of the British Empire

Nicola Close, from Cambridge, the chief executive of the Association of Directors of Public Health, has been made an MBE for services to public health.

Nicola has led the association since its formation in 2007, securing funding and developing the organisational structure and work programmes. The association is the representative body for directors of public health across the UK, representing the professional views of local leaders for the nation’s health.

With an MA in mathematics from Oxford and an MA in philosophy from Birmingham, Nicola joined the NHS in 1994, following spells in education, IT and clinical governance.

A fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and Royal Statistical Society, and an honorary member of the Faculty of Public Health, Nicola’s role includes establishing strong professional partnerships.

Karen Harvey, from Wisbech, founder of Toiletries Amnesty, is made an MBE for services to people living in hygiene poverty, to considerate consumption and to the environment.

She founded Toiletries Amnesty (TA) in 2014 for one homeless shelter in Cambridge, using spare, unwanted or unused toiletry products, and the project has grown to providing more than 800 charitable organisations in the UK and worldwide.

She has built up TA without any funding and has put her energy into the project, not just through creating a now comprehensive directory of where people can donate, but sometimes driving across the UK to deliver items to organisations in need. By providing access to vital products such as toothpaste and brushes, soap, and sanitary products, TA ensures people have what they need, when they need it. In 2023, it provided access to toiletries and hygiene essentials to four million people and diverted hundreds of thousands of products from landfill.

Stanley Ridley, from St Neots, national chair of the Royal Naval Association (RNA), is made an MBE for voluntary service to veterans. The 78-year-old from St Neots had a 48-year ‘career’ of voluntary service to the RNA and its 20,000-plus members and recently stood down as national chairman after an extended period of seven years in office.

He was branch secretary at St Neots for 10 years, then became chairman to save the branch from closing, and remained in office for 20 years, only standing down when he became national chairman. He ushered in a rejuvenation of the RNA which had been losing around 1,000 members a year for more than 30 years but, through a package of measures introduced on his watch, has now increased numbers by more than 100 per cent.

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

David Easthope is awarded a BEM for services to the community in Thriplow.

The 84-year-old has been a parish councillor for more than 50 years, including being chairman for seven years, and a district councillor for 12 years. An architect by vocation, he has represented the parish council and community on various planning issues.

He is a member of the village hall committee and is a past chairman. It was almost completely due to his work that the village shop was saved when some years ago it faced closure as the tenants could not earn a living from the venture.

Working with other villagers, he became the first chair of the Thriplow Village Shop Association and the shop now employs full-time staff assisted by volunteers – and when a wholesaler discontinued deliveries because they were uneconomic, he collected collected supplies himself from a Cambridge wholesaler. He is chair of the Thriplow Society, a voluntary group for anyone interested in the parish and its history – one of its projects a working blacksmith’s forge in a listed building, so his experience as an architect is invaluable for advice on building maintenance.

Keith Howard, chairman of Caxton Parish Council, has been awarded a BEM for services to the community in Caxton.

David Stazicker has been awarded a BEM for services to the community in Ely.

David is a trustee of the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust, which helps ensure the preservation and upkeep of churches, stained glass and church monuments in the county. He is also a trustee of Mepal Village Hall, which provides a central meeting point for residents, local groups and charities.

King’s Policing Medal (KPM)

Cambridgeshire Chief Constable, Nick Dean, will be awarded a King’s Policing Medal (KPM) as part of the King’s Birthday Honours.

The King's Policing Medal is awarded to members of the police service for distinguished service.

Nick joined Norfolk Constabulary in September 1992, where he gained experience first in uniformed roles such as patrol and custody, before periods in the control room, corporate support and neighbourhood policing.

In 2004 he became District Superintendent for King’s Lynn and Breckland. He was transferred to Norwich as the District Commander prior to being promoted to Assistant Chief Constable, then head of CID and subsequently Chief Superintendent for the county’s local policing structure.

He was appointed Temporary Assistant Chief Constable within Norfolk in 2013 and was made substantive ACC in 2016; he became temporary Deputy Chief Constable in 2016. Nick was substantively promoted to DCC in 2017.

He was appointed Chief Constable at Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2018. In his role as Chief, Nick is the national lead for charging under the Criminal Justice Coordination Committee and forensics under the Crime Coordination Committee.

Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “I am delighted to have been nominated and to receive the King's Police Medal. Although this recognises my policing service of nearly 32 years, it is testament to all those people who have supported me throughout my career.

“It is really humbling to be recognised in such a prestigious way and I continue to be very proud of being part of the policing family here in Cambridgeshire.”

Look out for more coverage in the Cambridge Independent, out from Wednesday.

Additional reporting: Paul Brackley and John Downing

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