Ashley Rey
December 30, 2017 3:06 pm
Bethany Clarke / Getty Images

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has released her New Year’s honors list for 2018, and the number of women recognized will make any self-proclaimed feminist rejoice. Out of more than 1,100 people acknowledged for their service and achievements, 551 are women.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the Queen’s honors list, it’s released twice a year — once just prior to New Year’s Day and again for the Queen’s birthday in June, according to CNN. After being compiled by the government, the list is later approved by the Queen. Honorees include entertainers, athletes, journalists, academics, and politicians who have gone above and beyond to help make the world a better place through various endeavors.

The five categories of honors include Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE; Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or OBE; and Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE. Meanwhile, the lucky women and men bestowed with damehoods and knighthoods become known as “Dame” and “Sir,” respectively.

Receiving damehoods in 2018 are former Royal Ballet principal dancer Darcey Bussell and British politician Cheryl Gillan. Gaining CBE titles are former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, alongside British author and journalist Jilly Cooper. England women’s cricket team captain Heather Knight scored an OBE title, while teammates Anya Shrubsole and Tammy Beaumont were recognized with MBE honors.

These are just a few of the outstanding women honored, obviously. But knowing there are hundreds more like them on the New Year’s honors list makes this news that much sweeter.

The Queen’s New Year’s honors list recognized some pretty fab men for 2018, too.

Joining fellow Beatle Paul McCartney in receiving knighthood is Ringo Starr, as well as Barry Gibb, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees. The Queen also recognized actor Hugh Laurie for his services in the field of drama.

All recipients will officially receive their honors in a 2018 ceremony at Buckingham Palace led by Queen Elizabeth herself.

Let this good news serve as a reason to ring in the new year with optimism and a smile. Because so far, 2018 is already shaping up to be the year of outstanding women. And that’s totally something to celebrate.

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