Tracey Emin and Imelda Staunton get damehoods in king’s birthday honours

<span>Tracey Emin, who has received a damehood for services to art, said her honour was a ‘brilliant surprise’. </span><span>Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA</span>
Tracey Emin, who has received a damehood for services to art, said her honour was a ‘brilliant surprise’. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Tracey Emin, the confessional visual artist, and the stage and screen actor Imelda Staunton are among leading figures from the world of culture to be honoured in the king’s birthday honours, both becoming dames.

Related: The radical, ravishing rebirth of Tracey Emin: ‘I didn’t want to die as some mediocre YBA’

Emin, who has survived aggressive bladder cancer and opened her own art school as well as embarking on a new body of work since her diagnosis four years ago, said it was a “brilliant surprise”.

The artist, whose headline-grabbing works in the 90s included Everyone I Have Ever Slept With and My Bed, said: “Dame Tracey has a good ring to it. I’m very, very happy. Another brilliant surprise in my life.”

Staunton, who has appeared in The Crown and Harry Potter films, said of becoming a dame: “I feel genuinely humbled to be recognised on the same level as the amazing actresses, all the great dames.” She said she was delighted the honour “recognises my support for charity as well as my work as an actress”.

“I feel that this honour also recognises the importance of the arts in this country. Theatre, film and television are essential to our wellbeing, stand at the heart of our culture and are admired throughout the world,” she said.

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The renowned innovative choreographer Wayne McGregor, the artistic director of Studio Wayne McGregor and resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet, is knighted. “It’s incredible. I’m really, really delighted, and I’m just thrilled because I’ve been nurtured by so many amazing people over 33 years in dance … This is just a lovely reflection of all of that work we’ve done together,” he said.

He added that “at a point where culture is being really vandalised in many ways in the world”, the royal family’s passion for the arts was “really incredible” at a time “when we see in the arts now, in education and the professional sector, there are less and less opportunities for young people to access the arts. And so to have an honour that allows us to advocate still for the arts is really important.”

The composer John Rutter, who is also knighted, said he was “deeply grateful”. Rutter, who is also a conductor, editor and arranger, is best known for his choral compositions, including Christmas carols, anthems and extended works such as the Gloria, the Requiem and the Magnificat. He said: “Music has given me a lifetime of joy and fulfilment, but I never dreamed that one day it would bring me the honour of a knighthood.”

The writer Monica Ali, whose debut novel Brick Lane was shortlisted for a Booker prize, and whose subsequent books include Alentejo Blue (2006) and Untold Story (2011), receives a CBE. The theatre producer Nica Burns, co-owner of the West End’s Nimax theatre group, is made a CBE, as are Dawn Airey, the chair of the National Youth Theatre, and the broadcaster and television executive Alan Yentob.

John Bright, an Oscar-winning costume designer known in particular for his work for Merchant Ivory Productions, receives an OBE, while Andrew Logan, a sculptor, jeweller, performance artist and former host of Alternative Miss World, receives an MBE.

Joseph Coelho, the children’s laureate, whose works include his Luna Loves... picture books, the dark series of Fairy Tales Gone Bad and the young adult novel The Girl Who Became a Tree, becomes an OBE. The performance poet, playwright and children’s author is honoured for services to the arts, to children’s reading and to literature.

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