When you’re the Queen, every day is like your birthday, so when your big day (or at least the cross-your-fingers-that-it’s-sunny June Saturday on which your subjects celebrate it) is imminent, you don’t jot down a wish list and hope that someone has the good sense to order a sheet cake adorned with a frosted corgi or two. Instead, you summon your most trusted advisors (and/or corgis) and hash out your annual list of “birthday honors”—orders of chilvalry such as Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. All the more pressure if it’s a Jubilee year.
Near the top of this year’s list, released Saturday, is Zaha Hadid, who has been awarded the title Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to architecture. “It is a tremendous honor for me to receive this award. I would like to thank all my colleagues and clients for their hard work and support,” said Hadid in a statement issued today by her London-based firm. “I am delighted that architecture has been recognized in this way. My father went to the London School of Economics in the 1930s, and everything he learned at the time is why I have always leaned towards the UK.” Her projects in the UK include Evelyn Grace Academy in London, the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, and, most recently, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics. Also making this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honors list were Mulberry creative director Emma Hill (named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE), Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, who was selected as an Officer (OBE), and jewelry designer Lara Bohinc, who earned a Member (MBE) distinction.
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