Elizabeth II gives actress, famed poet royal honors

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Elizabeth II gives actress, famed poet royal honors

LONDON - Oscar-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter, famed for playing quirky characters as well as British royalty, joins a former prisoner, a reality TV guru and several Olympics organizers on the list of people being awarded honors by Queen Elizabeth II this New Year.

Bonham Carter missed out on the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth, the supportive wife of King George VI in “The King’s Speech.” Her other major roles have included characters in films such as “Planet of the Apes” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’’

The queen, who is the daughter of King George VI and Elizabeth, awarded Bonham Carter a CBE, short for Commanders of the Order of the British Empire. Bonham Carter has said she is dedicating the CBE to her late father.

Businessman Gerald Ronson, who was convicted in 1990 for a share-trading scandal and served six months of a one-year jail sentence, was awarded a CBE for his services to charity.

Ronson fought a long legal battle to clear his name, and although the European Court of Human Rights later ruled his trial was unfair, Britain’s highest appeal court never overturned his conviction.

He now runs property company Heron International and is a leading philanthropist.

Peter Bazalgette, who brought the show “Big Brother” to the United Kingdom and devised a string of much-copied lifestyle and reality shows, was made a knight.

Prof. Geoffrey Hill, who has been described as the greatest living poet in the English language, also became a knight.

Britain’s honors are bestowed twice a year by the monarch - at New Year’s and on her official birthday in June. Recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.

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