LONDON - The gynaecologist who helped deliver the first child of Prince William and his wife Kate was given a knighthood and veteran actress Angela Lansbury was made a dame in Britain's New Year Honours List released Tuesday.
For the first time since the list was founded in 1917 there were more women (51 per cent) named than men - and two star sportsmen, Andy Murray and David Beckham, were notably absent.
Gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, 70, who delayed his retirement to assist at the birth of Prince George in July, will be called 'sir' after being made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order - a personal honour from Queen Elizabeth II.
Lansbury, the 88-year-old British-born actress best known for her role as amateur detective Jessica Fletcher in US TV series "Murder, She Wrote", was also handed a top honour, being made a Dame of the British Empire.
The twice-yearly list of the great and the good - issued at the New Year and on the queen's birthday in June - recognises those who have succeeded in their personal field, or those who have contributed to their community.
But Murray, Britain's first Wimbledon men's singles champion for 77 years, and footballer and global celebrity Beckham were two surprising omissions from the list.
Murray was touted as a possible recipient of a knighthood, although some commentators suggested it might be too soon after the player was given a lesser OBE (Order of the British Empire) after his Olympic gold medal in 2012.
Beckham, who announced his retirement earlier this year, was also tipped to be knighted for his sporting success and work on the London 2012 Olympics bid.
He received an OBE in 2003.
Those who were honoured included Antony Gormley, the Turner prize-winning sculptor behind the giant rust-coloured "Angel of The North" in northeast England, who was given a knighthood.