This year the highest honour in the land goes to Sir Elton John who has been made a Companion of Honour.

Actor and singer Olivia Newton-John has been honoured with a Damehood and Sam Mendes with a Knighthood.

Ross McEwan CEO of the Royal Bank who employ so many people in the capital is awarded the CBE.

Sir Elton John at Meadowbank in June 2016

As always there are some honours for Edinburgh residents.

With apologies if we have omitted anyone (and please tell us if we have!) the list includes :

Sarah Patricia Davidson Director General Organisational Development and Operations Scottish Government – OBE

Professor Rowena ARSHAD (ROWENA PARNELL) OBE former Head of Moray House School of Education University of Edinburgh and Co-Directror Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland For Services to Education and Equality – CBE

Joanna Baker Managing Director, Edinburgh International Festival

Joanna Baker former Managing Director Edinburgh International Festival and Chair National Youth Choir of Scotland for services to the Arts.

Dr Colin Thomas Currie MBE receives the CBE for charitable and political services.

Ruth Mary Hampton for services to the Lord’s Taverners Scotland, Cruse Bereavement Care and Autism in Scotland – OBE

Rev Elizabeth Margaret Jack Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Her Majesty The Queen and Founder, Richmond’s Hope. For services to Bereaved Children and the community in Edinburgh – OBE

Dr Helen McKay Head, Centre for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change. For services to Forest Science and Forestry – OBE

Professor Helen Sang Head of Division, Functional Genetics and Development, The Roslin Institute. For services to Food Security and Bioscience for Health – OBE

Lady Jill Ingram Kirkwood Founder and Chair, Daisy Chain Trust. For services to charity – OBE

Kenneth Logan For services to the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the community in Edinburgh – Medallist of the Order of the British Empire.

Well done to all.

Sir Elton John is one of the most highly acclaimed and successful solo artists of
all time. He has achieved 23 gold, 40 platinum or multi-platinum albums and 1
diamond album. He has sold more than 300m records worldwide and holds the
record for the biggest selling single of all time, Candle In The Wind (1997). Since
launching his first tour in 1970, he has delivered over 4,000 performances in more
than 80 countries. In September 2018, he embarked on his Farewell Yellow Brick
Road Tour, encompassing 5 continents, over 350 dates. Sir Elton is the most
successful solo male artist in the history of the US music charts and the third most
successful artist overall. August 2018 saw Elton named as the most successful
male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history. He has logged 67 Top 100
entries between 1970 and 2000, including nine number 1s and 27 Top 10s. He
won 13 Ivor Novello Awards from 1973-2001, 5 Grammy Awards, including the
Grammy Legend Award and three of his albums have been inducted into the
Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1995, Sir Elton won an Oscar for Best Original Song
for ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ from The Lion King and a few years later,
he was knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II. When he is not recording or touring
he devotes his efforts to a variety of charities, including his own Elton John AIDS
Foundation which has raised over $450m in the global fight against HIV/AIDS,
using these funds to raise HIV awareness to over 100m people and to provide
HIV testing and access to treatment for more than 5m of the most vulnerable
people living with the disease. Elton has used the Foundation’s efforts to leverage
more than $400m to sustain and expand this work, and to secure billions from
national governments to support the worldwide fight against AIDS through
multilateral organisations such as the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria.
This summer, President Emmanuel Macron presented Elton with the Légion
d’honneur, France’s highest award, for his lifetime contribution to the arts and
the fight against HIV/AIDS. President Macron and Elton used the occasion to
launch a fundraising drive for the Global Fund, which resulted in $14.02bn
pledged – the largest fund for health ever. Sir Elton is also Patron or Ambassador
to 23 charities and endows scholarship funds at The Royal Academy of Music
and the Julliard School of Music. 2019 has been an incredibly busy year with the
release of ‘Rocketman’, a critically acclaimed epic fantasy musical motion
picture of his life, which has been a huge smash, already taking close to $200m
at the box office, and the release of his global bestselling autobiography, ‘Me’.

Sam Mendes is one of the UK’s most prominent and successful directors, having
been lauded with virtually every prestigious award for stage and screen –
including the Academy Award for Best Director – by the time he was in his mid30s. He is also responsible for directing the two highest grossing UK films of all
time, the James Bond movies Skyfall and Spectre. He founded the Donmar
Warehouse in 1990, and ran the theatre for ten years, transforming it into one of
the world’s leading playhouses. He also founded the highly successful Neal Street
Productions; the transatlantic theatre company The Bridge Project; and was the
first artistic director of The Minerva Theatre in Chichester. His plethora of awards
include five Olivier Awards, three Tony awards, three Evening Standard awards,
two BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, and several Critics Circle awards, starting in 1989
with the award for Best Newcomer, for directing Judi Dench in The Cherry
Orchard. He also received the Shakespeare Prize in 2000 and the Lifetime
Achievement award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain in 2005. Following
extensive work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre
he became artistic director of the reopened Donmar Warehouse in 1992, which
he quickly transformed into one of the most exciting venues in the city. His
opening production was Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, which he followed with
a series of acclaimed revivals, many of which attracted some of the finest actors
and biggest stars of the decade. His highly technical and visual theatre
productions helped him to make the smooth transition to film with American
Beauty (1999), which earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award
for Best Director and Best Picture. He followed this with a stellar body of film
work including the Depression-era drama Road to Perdition (2002), which won
the Academy Award for best cinematography and was nominated for five other
Oscars. In 2003 he set up Neal Street Productions (NSP), a UK-based independent
film and theatre company under which he directed the Gulf War epic Jarhead,
Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, and his latest movie, the Golden Globe
nominated First World War epic 1917. His two James Bond movies, the Oscarwinning Skyfall and Spectre, released in 2012 and 2015 respectively, are the most
successful in the history of the franchise. His work in the theatre has continued
throughout this time, his most recent productions being The Ferryman, for which
he won the Tony, Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics Circle awards, and the
Olivier-nominated The Lehman Trilogy, which transfers to Broadway in the
spring of 2020.