Stephen Sutton, the teenage cancer sufferer who raised over £4m for the Teenage Cancer Trust from his death bed, has been awarded a rare posthumous Member of the Order of the British Empire award (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Mr Sutton, who died in May, was made aware of the award prior to his death and described it as “pretty awesome”.
Prior to his death Breitbart London exclusively reported on moves to knight Sutton for his services to charity. The difficulty the campaign had was that whilst the Queen is empowered to award honours whenever she sees fit, in practice this only happens on the day of her official birthday, New Year and when a Prime Minister leaves office.
Whilst an MBE is a lesser honour than a Knighthood it appears on the same list and is still considered to be enormously prestigious.
In May it was clear that Stephen Sutton did not have long to live and so there were fears that he would be unaware of any award, but it seems he was told of his honour. Under normal circumstances the holder of an MBE would be given a medal by the Queen at a special ceremony and be entitled to use the letters as a post nominal. In this case the medal is likely to be given to the family.
Also on the Queen’s birthday honours list are Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith, who has added ‘Companion of Honour’ to her damehood. Knighthoods, which entitle holders to style themselves ‘Sir’ go to Eurosceptic MP Bill Cash, Winston Churchill’s grandson Nicholas Soames MP and the actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
The Queen’s official birthday is always celebrated on a Saturday in June to give the maximum chance of good weather. She will celebrate it, as she has done at every official birthday of her reign, watching the Trooping of the Colour military parade on Horseguard’s Parade, Westminster.
On Monday Her Majesty will welcome the most senior order of chivalry, the Knights of the Garter, to a lunch and church service at Windsor Castle. After that she will spend the week at Royal Ascot.