Top leaders in the fight against the pandemic in the United Kingdom were honored Friday by Queen Elizabeth II, while actor Daniel Craig received the same award as the James Bond he plays in movies.
Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, is well known to the British public and regularly provides information on the health crisis at press conferences. He has been promoted to the rank of Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, which is awarded to military and civil servants. Patrick Vallance, the government's scientific advisor, received the same distinction, while other key players in the fight against the coronavirus, such as the Chief Medical Officers for Scotland and Wales and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Jonathan Van Tam, were made Knights or Dame of the Order of the British Empire.
On the cultural front, actor Daniel Craig, 53, was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, like the famous spy he plays on the big screen, for services to the film and theater industry. Dying can wait, the last opus of the adventures of James Bond whose release this year had been delayed because of the pandemic, also marks the final participation of Daniel Craig in the saga. The producer of the franchise, Barbara Broccoli, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Camilla, wife of the British Crown Prince Charles, has been appointed Dame of the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious of British chivalry. This distinction is granted by the Queen on her own decision, without the advice of the Prime Minister. She has the same rank in this order as the Queen's children. In total, the Queen has honoured 1,278 people who have made a vital contribution to their community or country, or during the pandemic. According to the government, nearly one in five of these awards is related to Covid-19. These royal awards are given twice a year, for the New Year and for the Queen's official birthday, which is in June, even though she was born on April 21, 1926.