Queen Elizabeth’s 2022 New Year Honours List includes outgoing James Bond star Daniel Craig and rock lyricist Bernie Taupin, among 1,122 people recognized for their contribution to British life.
In a move that many U.K. news outlets described as controversial, Craig received the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) for “services to Film and Theatre.” It’s the same honor bestowed upon the fictional Bond, which is normally only given to real-life intelligence officers and diplomats.
The list also features Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, named Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of their services to the film industry. No TIme to Die, the final Bond movie to feature Craig, has been regarded as helping prop up the beleaguered sector after making roughly $775 million worldwide to date. It became one of the U.K.’s highest-grossing movies.
Speculating on the franchise’s future, Craig said before the launch of No Time to Die that the next Bond should not be female, although he emphasized that he knew a woman could play the role. “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour,” he said. “Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”
Taupin — best known for his five-decade creative partnership with Elton John — was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to music. In 2020 he said he’d submitted around 18 sets of lyrics in the hope of encouraging John to record a new album, which hasn’t materialized yet. “I’m very, very proud of it,” Taupin said of the material. “I would love to see him start to do some work. As I say, I continually encourage him to do so. … I really, really would love to get back on track and back in the game.”
While issued under the name of the Queen, the New Year Honours List is agreed with the British Government. “These recipients have inspired and entertained us and given so much to their communities in the UK or in many cases around the world,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a statement. “The honours are an opportunity for us to thank them, as a country, for their dedication and outstanding contribution.”