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Age in the New Year’s Honours

by on January 8, 2015

Following my Volex research (@volexresearch) colleague, Chris Hine’s blog about the New Year’s Honours, I thought I’d take a belated look at the age issues that this throws up.  Many take the perspective that these accolades should be a reflection of a lifetime achievement, indeed while the age of many recipients is reported, the Guardian offers a breakdown by award, sector and gender – but not age. (On a separate issue it is good to see a second year of gender equality, though the issue of the female only dame category has received some critique).

Vogue reports that “One of the youngest to receive the Damehood is 54-year-old actress Kristin Scott Thomas” whilst also noting the recognition of ‘veteran’ designer Mary Quant.  Though it is the Guardian that reports on her age: “Designer Mary Quant, 80, who popularised the miniskirt, is made a dame – almost 50 years after she received an OBE in 1966″.  From my searches it would suggest that the age of the female recipients seems more worthy of comment in the press, particularly when they are celebrities.

The exception is reporting of the youngest and oldest recipients who are both male! The BBC reports that “At 24, Jamal Edwards is one of the youngest people on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List” as the music entrepreneur has been appointed an MBE.  The Mirror joined many papers in recognizing the oldest recipient, 103-year-old runner Fauja Singh.

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