Imelda Staunton to receive CBE for services to drama


Vera Drake actress Imelda Staunton will receive a CBE at Buckingham Palace on Friday for services to drama.

A star of the stage and screen, Staunton has won four Olivier Awards, as well as a Bafta for best actress in a leading role and the Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup for Best Actress.

She was nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for her titular role in Vera Drake, about a working class woman performing illegal abortions in the 1950s.

Staunton is better known with younger audiences for her portrayal of Dolores Umbridge in two Harry Potter films, as well as Mrs Blatherwick in Nanny McPhee - and in 2014 she gave her voice to Aunt Lucy in the big-screen version of Paddington.

She is married to Downton Abbey star Jim Carter and they have one daughter, Bessie.

Also being recognised at the investiture ceremony is art historian Sir Roy Strong, who is appointed Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) for services to culture.

He has served as director of both the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Former England football player Francis Lee, who also played for Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City and Derby County, will receive a CBE for services to football and charity, as will Romanian concert pianist Radu Lupu, for services to music.

Conductor Steuart Bedford will be honoured with an OBE for services to music, while violinst Alina Ibragimova will receive an MBE.

Julia Samuel, founder, patron and trustee of charity Child Bereavement UK, will receive an MBE for services to bereaved children.

Samuel, who was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales, is a godmother to Prince George.