LONDON - Academy Award-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter, famed for playing quirky characters and British royalty, joins a former prisoner, a reality TV guru and several Olympics organizers on the list of people awarded New Year Honors by Queen Elizabeth II.
Bonham Carter missed out on the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as the supportive wife of King George VI in "The King's Speech." Her other major roles have included characters in such films as "A Room With a View," "Lady Jane," "Howards End," "Wings of the Dove," "Sweeney Todd" and "Alice in Wonderland" - the last two directed by her husband, Tim Burton.
The queen, who is the daughter of King George VI and Elizabeth, awarded Bonham Carter a CBE, short for Commanders of the Order of the British Empire.
Bonham Carter said she is dedicating the CBE to her late father.
Britain's honors are bestowed twice a year by the monarch - at New Year's and on her official birthday in June. Recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.
In descending order, the honors are knighthoods, CBE, OBE (an Officer of the Order of the British Empire) and MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). Knights are addressed as "sir" or "dame." Recipients of the other honors have no title but can put the letters after their names.
The queen or occasionally another member of the royal family presents the award at a ceremony known as an "investiture." Several investitures are held at Buckingham Palace in London throughout the year.
Most of the honors go to people who are not in the limelight, for services to the community or in industry, but they also reward a sprinkling of famous faces.
Among this year's honors recipients were comedian Ronnie Corbett; Australian entertainer Clive James; and Sky News war correspondent Alex Crawford. Record producer Steve Lillywhite, who worked with rock groups such as U2, The Rolling Stones and The Smiths, was awarded a CBE for services to music.
As Britain prepares for the 2012 London Olympics, several organizers were also recognized for their work.