British Parliamentary Committee: Celebrities Get Too Many Honors (Report)

4:10 AM PST 08/29/2012 by Georg Szalai
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Kate Winslet, Kenneth Branagh and Gary Barlow were among the big entertainment industry names on Queen Elizabeth II's latest honors list mid-year.

LONDON - A report from a British parliamentary committee says too many celebrities and politicians tend to get honored by the Queen when she bestows such titles as knight and dame twice a year.

The Public Administration Select Committee called for a rise in honors for volunteers in the community, the BBC reported. Its report suggested an independent honors commission that would reduce political influence on the process. It called for longer explanations of why someone has been given an honor, for example.

Kate Winslet, Gary Barlow on Queen Elizabeth II's Latest Honors List

"No-one should be honored for simply "doing the day job," no matter what that job is," the committee, led by chairman and conservative member of parliament Bernard Jenkin, said.

The honors lists focus on "people from all walks of life and all sections of society who have made a difference to their community," according to a British government web site.

The British government though denied political influence and the dominance of officials and celebrities, according to the BBC. The Cabinet Office said 72 percent of people on the last honors list were people who were involved in charitable or voluntary work.

Kate Winslet, Kenneth Branagh, Take That's Gary Barlow and Josh Berger, president and managing director of Warner Bros. Entertainment U.K., were among the big entertainment industry names making Queen Elizabeth II's latest honors list mid-year.

"The British honors system is one of the oldest in the world. It has evolved over 650 years as the country has found alternative means of recognizing merit, gallantry and service," according to the government web site.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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