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Oscar-winning director Sir Sam Mendes knighted at Windsor Castle

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Sir Sam Mendes is made a Knight Bachelor by the Princess Royal  (PA)
Sir Sam Mendes is made a Knight Bachelor by the Princess Royal (PA)

Bond film director Sir Sam Mendes was knighted at Windsor Castle on Tuesday alongside a host of famous faces, including stars from the entertainment world, political luminaries and a close royal aide.

The cinema heavyweight was recognised for services to drama at a ceremony hosted by the Princess Royal, while stars of the small screen including Vicar Of Dibley co-writer Paul Mayhew-Archer and Emmerdale theme tune creator Tony Hatch also received honours.

Sir Sam won Best Director at the Oscars in 1999 for his first film, American Beauty, and he co-wrote, directed and produced the Oscar-winning 1917 in 2019, which was inspired by his grandfather’s stories of the First World War.

Next autumn marks his first foray into solo screen writing, with the release of Empire Of Light, starring Olivia Colman.

Sir Sam Mendes with his wife, Alison Balsom (PA)
Sir Sam Mendes with his wife, Alison Balsom (PA)

Set on the south coast of England in the 1980s, the film will also be directed by Sir Sam alongside cinematographer Roger Deakins and producer Pippa Harris.

Meanwhile, Mayhew-Archer, 68, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011, was made an MBE for services to people with the disease after presenting an award-winning BBC comedy documentary about his experience in 2016.

Hatch, 82, whose songs have been featured in more than 100 films and countless TV productions while being performed by stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton and Dame Shirley Bassey, will collect an OBE for services to music and charity.

Oboist Professor Nicholas Daniel was made an OBE for services to music, and trombonist Roy Williams an MBE for services to jazz.

Paul Mayhew-Archer (PA Archive)
Paul Mayhew-Archer (PA Archive)

Dr Ibrar Majid, a surgeon who treated the young victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack, collected an MBE for services to healthcare and community development in the city.

Meanwhile, political power couple Sharon White and Robert Chote were made a Dame and a Knight.

Dame Sharon, the first female chairwoman of the John Lewis Partnership and former boss of media watchdog Ofcom, is being recognised for her public service, while eminent economist Sir Robert, ex-head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, is honoured for services to fiscal policy.

After attending the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle in 2018, Harry and Meghan’s former aide, Clara Loughran, will return to the Queen’s Berkshire residence to be made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO).

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