Scotland's chief constable and crime-writer Ian Rankin knighted in Queen''s Birthday Honours list

Sir Ian Rankin has said he is “honoured” to receive a knighthood, but is not sure what his star character John Rebus would make of it.

By Stephen Wilkie
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 10:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 10:38 pm

The author has been made a knight in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to literature and charity.

“It is amazing to be honoured in this way as we celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It may not make writing my next book any easier but it is gratifying to be recognised both for my crime novels and the work I do for charity,” Sir Ian said.

“I’m not sure what Detective Inspector John Rebus would make of it – he’d almost certainly tell me not to get too big-headed. I’ll do my best, while pouring a glass of something refreshing.”

Sir Ian Rankin: The Inspector Rebus author has been knighted

The University of Edinburgh graduate, 62, is known across the world for his crime novels focused on Rebus, which are mostly based in and around the Scottish capital.

Knots & Crosses, the first in the series, was published in 1987 and Rebus now features in 26 books. They have been translated into 22 languages and have become bestsellers on several continents.

Sir Ian joins was knighted along with fellow Fifer and Edinburgh resident, Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingston.

Scotland’s top police officer and the writer best known for the fictional detective John Rebus have both been knighted.

Stella McCartney who has been awarded a CBE for services to fashion and to sustainability

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and the author Ian Rankin are among the Scots who have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

From the world of sport, Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning women’s curling team, all of whom hail from Scotland, have been honoured.

Skip Eve Muirhead is made an OBE for her services to the sport after the team took Britain’s only gold medal of the Beijing Winter Olympics, with teammates Vicky Wright, Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff and alternate Mili Smith all becoming MBEs.

Nineteen-year-old Neil Simpson, from Banchory, Kincardineshire, skied his way to Paralympic gold at Beijing, winning in the Super G Visual Impaired class with the help of his guide, and brother, Andrew.

Gareth Bale could be facing Scotland in a World Cup play-off after being made an MBE

Less than three months on from that success, the siblings are celebrating again, after both being made MBEs.

The same honour goes to swimmer Hannah Miley, who has represented both Scotland and the UK in the pool, after a career which has seen her win almost 50 medals since she first became a Commonwealth champion in 2010.

Miley, also a former world and European champion who competed at three Olympic games, who announced her retirement from competitive swimming in December 2021, said she “burst into tears and then hugged my mum” after learning she is being made an MBE.

Elsewhere Jim Walker, the director of the family firm Walker’s Shortbread, said he was “extremely honoured” to receive a knighthood.

At 20, Chloe Lawson is the youngest Scottish recipient

A grandson of the original founder, Joseph Walker, Sir Jim joined the Speyside firm in 1962 when it was still a village bakery, helping it grow to become a household name which exports its shortbread biscuits around the globe and employs more than 1,500 staff at peak times across its six factories – all still in the Speyside area.

“It comes as a complete surprise and is very humbling,” he said.

Professor Sally Mapstone DBE FRSE, who is the second woman in succession to hold this role at St Andrews University, was made a dame.

Dr Isobel Falconer, a leading maths historian at the university and whose research focuses on the relationship between maths and physics in the 19th century, was made an MBE.

In Glasgow, the city council’s chief executive Annemarie O’Donnell is made an OBE in recognition of her services to local government, including at the Cop26 climate summit, which the city hosted in November last year.

Nurse Maria Hewitt from Paisley has been awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of her work during the pandemic after losing her husband John to the virus in June 2020..

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has received a knighthood

“I felt I had to do something to help,” she said. “I felt it was what my husband would want me to do.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated all Scots who have been recognised, stating: “From those who contribute to the creative industries, communities and charities, to those who have excelled in the field of science and medicine, the honours highlight their exceptional service to the people of Scotland.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack also paid tribute, saying: “We were all gripped by the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, as our curlers swept to gold and we topped the podium in alpine skiing. Eve Muirhead is awarded an OBE, while the rest of the team get MBEs, along with alpine skier Neil Simpson and his brother and guide Andrew.”

Famous faces in showbiz, sport and politics were also recognised with recipients this year said to reflect the monarch’s “invaluable” qualities ahead of her Platinum Jubilee.

There are top honours for English-Indian author Sir Salman Rushdie and illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, who are made Companions of Honour for services to literature and illustration respectively.

Homeland actor Damian Lewis, presenter Clare Balding and fashion designer Stella McCartney are made CBEs while singer Bonnie Tyler is made an MBE.

MBEs are to be served up to MasterChef duo John Torode and Gregg Wallace for services to food and charity.

Wallace said: “From a council estate in Peckham to being recognised by the Queen is for me something akin to a fairytale story. I am incredibly, incredibly proud.”

Also knighted is Nicholas Coleridge, chairman of the V&A Museum and co-chair of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, which on Sunday will see a 3km carnival procession through central London featuring a cast of thousands.

A record proportion of Queen’s Birthday Honours are going to women, the percentage this year – 51.5%.

The proportion going to people from ethnic minority backgrounds, 13.3%, is down from 15.0% last year while slightly more are going to people who are disabled.

The percentage of LGBT recipients is down from 5.0% to 4.6%.

Welsh international, five-time Champions League winner and former Tottenham winger Gareth Bale and Liverpool player James Milner are made MBEs while ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand becomes an OBE. Cricketer Moeen Ali is made an OBE, which he described as an “amazing honour.”

In politics, the former Stormont first minister and ex-DUP leader Arlene Foster is made a dame and Conservative MP and former attorney general Jeremy Wright is knighted, days after calling for the Prime Minister to resign in the wake of the partygate saga.

Tory MPs Maria Miller, Tracey Crouch and Chris Skidmore received a damehood, CBE and OBE respectively, while Labour MP Nia Griffith is also made a dame and her colleague Stephen Timms is knighted.

Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair’s son Euan is named an MBE for services to education in his role as founder of Multiverse, which provides apprenticeship programmes.

Angela Redgrave, 104, the oldest recipient on the list, and twins Elena and Ruben Evans-Guillen, 11, the youngest, receive BEMs, the latter two after raising £50,000 for the NHS over the past three years.

One of the youngest Scottish recipients is Chloe Lawson, 20, from Baillieston in Glasgow who was awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in the West of Scotland.

Professor Sally Mapstone, the principal of St Andrews University, received a damehood
Eve Muirhead (L) and her Olympic gold medal winning team have all received honours