British honour for UK royal birth doctor, but Beckham and Murray snubbed

In a file picture taken on July 22, 2013 Doctor Marcus Setchell leaves The Lindo Wing of Saint Mary's Hospital after he oversaw the delivery of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in west London.&nbs
In a file picture taken on July 22, 2013 Doctor Marcus Setchell leaves The Lindo Wing of Saint Mary's Hospital after he oversaw the delivery of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in west London. The gynaecologist who assisted at the birth of the third-in-line to the British throne Prince George has been recognised by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year Honours List released on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - The gynaecologist who assisted at the birth of the third-in-line to the British throne Prince George has been recognised by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year Honours List released on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013.

Dr Marcus Setchell, 70, who delayed his retirement to assist at the birth of Prince William and his wife Kate's baby in July, was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order - an honour in the personal gift of the Queen.

The twice-yearly list of the great and the good - issued at the New Year and on the Queen's birthday - recognises those who have succeeded in their personal field, or those who have contributed to their community.

But tennis star Andy Murray, Britain's first Wimbledon men's singles champion for 77 years, and footballer and global celebrity David Beckham were two surprising omissions from the list.

Murray, who was given an OBE (Order of the British Empire) after his Olympic gold medal in 2012, was touted as a possible recipient of the higher honour of a knighthood.

Beckham, who announced his retirement earlier this year, was tipped to be knighted for his sporting success and work on the London 2012 Olympics bid. He received an OBE in 2003.

Sir Simon Rattle, the British conductor of the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, is awarded the Order of Merit, given to individuals of great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning and science.

The other recipient of the OM is world-renowned heart surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub.

Cuban-born ballet dancer Carlos Acosta was made a CBE, or Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

The 40-year-old, a regular guest artist at the Royal Ballet in London, has branched out into choreography, literature and film.

Mr Acosta said: "It was a huge surprise, and I feel privileged to be included."

Elsewhere in the arts world, opera singer Katherine Jenkins, who raises money for charities that assist injured servicemen, said she was "incredibly honoured" after being awarded an OBE.

Ms Jenkins, 33, said the honour left her feeling "incredibly humbled".

"To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity comes as a wonderful surprise," she added.

"I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with, especially to those brave servicemen and women who risk so much for us all on a daily basis." The creator and co-star of the hit TV comedy Gavin And Stacey Ruth Jones was also given an OBE.

Ms Jones, who set parts of the show in her native South Wales, used the local slang to describe her award as not "just tidy, it's proper tidy".

"Apparently great uncle Leslie got an OBE in the 40s and uncle Jack the fireman got one in the 60s.

"So I'm keeping up with the Joneses, ha ha," she added.

Veteran actress Penelope Keith, who rose to fame in the 1970s sitcom The Good Life becomes a dame, as does Murder, She Wrote actress Angela Lansbury.

Some 1,195 people have received an award and for the first time since the Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917, there are more women (51 per cent) on the list than men.