Sonia Friedman Will Be Honoured by King Charles III
Sonia Friedman, who produced Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is set to upgrade her OBE to a CBE as part of King Charles III’s first New Year Honours list. Those on the list are some of the most influential in the United Kingdom and can receive titles ranging from the British Empire Medal to Companion of Honour.
Friedman was given her OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) title as part of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours list in 2016 for her services to the theater industry. This upgrade to CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) comes as a result of her continued work within the industry. Her production company has been behind many plays this year, including Oklahoma! and Leopoldstadt, and it’s already been announced that next year she’ll be working on a play set in the same universe as Stranger Things.
While no other Wizarding World faces appear on the list, plenty of Muggle celebrities do. Queen guitarist Brian May has been honored with a knighthood for his charity work and his services to music, as well as actor Stephen Graham (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), who received an OBE for services to drama, and comedian Frank Skinner, who received his MBE for services to entertainment. Four members of England’s European Championship-winning women’s soccer team were also named on the list, with captain Leah Williamson receiving an OBE and three others receiving MBEs for their services to Association Football, an honor that was described by defender Lucy Bronze as “special and pretty amazing.”
The New Year Honours list was first published in the London Gazette as early as 1890. It is the monarch’s job to sign off the list, which honors those from every walk of life for services to any industry, including community, politics, and charity. The 2023 New Year Honours list is the first to be signed off by King Charles III since the death of the queen in September. 1,107 people made the main list, with 141 making the Foreign Office list, which recognizes contributions made by non-British citizens.
Congratulations to Sonia Friedman, CBE!