A team of British divers who helped save a junior football team stranded in a flooded cave in Thailand were awarded in Britain's traditional New Year Honours alongside former supermodel Twiggy and Monty Python's Michael Palin.

British divers who helped save a youth football team trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand have been decorated alongside stars of entertainment, sport and the arts in the 2019 New Year Honours list. (June 27, 2018)
British divers who helped save a youth football team trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand have been decorated alongside stars of entertainment, sport and the arts in the 2019 New Year Honours list. (June 27, 2018) (Reuters)

British divers who rescued young soccer players trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand are among those being recognised in Britain's New Year's Honours List, along with 1960s model Twiggy and Monty Python star Michael Palin.

Twiggy, a model who shot to stardom during the Beatles era, will become a Dame — the female equivalent of a knight — while Python, whose second career has seen him become an acclaimed travel documentary maker, receives a knighthood.

Jim Carter, who played the acerbic Mr. Carson in "Downton Abbey," was also recognized, as was filmmaker Christopher Nolan, director of "Inception" and "Dunkirk," and best-selling author Philip Pullman, creator of the Dark Materials trilogy.

The list released Friday also named 43 people who responded quickly to the extremist attacks in Manchester and London in 2017.

The honours process starts with nominations from the public, which are winnowed down by committees and sent to the prime minister before the various honours are bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II or senior royals next year.

The 92-year-old monarch has increasingly called on her children and grandchildren to hand out the coveted awards.

Britain has also recognised its sporting stars in the Queen's New Year's honours list with a knighthood for cricketer Alastair Cook. (July 13, 2014)
Britain has also recognised its sporting stars in the Queen's New Year's honours list with a knighthood for cricketer Alastair Cook. (July 13, 2014) (Reuters Archive)

Britain will grant a knighthood for cricketer Alastair Cook, and awards for Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, England soccer boss Gareth Southgate and his captain Harry Kane.

Divers Joshua Bratchley, Lance Corporal Connor Roe and Vernon Unsworth will be made Members of the Order of the British Empire for their roles in the risky Thai cave rescue last summer.

Four other British cave divers will receive civilian gallantry awards for their roles in the thrilling rescue of 12 boys and their coach, who were trapped in the cave for more than two weeks.

Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, the first to reach the stranded children and their coach, have been awarded the George Medal, while Christopher Jewell and Jason Mallinson received the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

The awards also include a damehood for model Lesley Lawson, better known as Twiggy, one of the defining faces of the swinging 1960s. (September 11, 2018)
The awards also include a damehood for model Lesley Lawson, better known as Twiggy, one of the defining faces of the swinging 1960s. (September 11, 2018) (Reuters)

Twiggy, whose modelling career lasted for decades, burst on the London Mod scene as one of the original "It" girls. She earned worldwide fame by 17 and went on to a career in theatre and films.

"It's wonderful, but it makes me giggle," said Twiggy, 69, whose real name is Lesley Lawson. "The hardest thing has been keeping it a secret."

Palin's knighthood recognises his contribution to travel, culture and geography. He said the news had not sunk in yet but noted "I have been a knight before, in Python films. I have been several knights, including Sir Galahad."

"I don't think it will (sink in) until I see the envelopes addressing me as Sir Michael Palin," said the 75-year-old.

Source: AP