Entertainment icon Angela Lansbury has been named Dame of the British Empire in an historic 2013 New Year Honours List. Lansbury, born in Poplar, London, was honored in “the diplomatic and overseas list for drama, charitable work and philanthropy.” Also honored was Penelope Keith, not as ubiquitous to US audiences but still known for her role as Margot Leadbetter on The Good Life.
Perhaps more importantly is the news that this New Year Honours List marks the first time in history that more women have been titled than men. Out of 1,195 people given the title of ‘Knight’ or ‘Dame’ this year (which totally sounds like a huge number but totally isn’t), 51%, or 611 individuals, were women. Although the difference isn’t huge, the results show a significant advance in how achievement is measured. The yearly List may be nothing more than a glorified dog-and-pony show to most, but the results almost certainly have a ripple-like effect across a huge swath of modern culture.
Read more about this year’s New Year Honours List over at the Guardian. There’s a lot of interesting people on it.