The King’s New Year’s Honours has been announced, recognising those making contributions to the museums and heritage sector. More than 1,200 appointments were made.

The annual tradition follows King Charles’ first Birthday Honours list, announced in 2023.

King’s first Birthday Honours recognise museums and heritage sector

Among the sector professionals recognised this year is Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Dr Nicholas Cullinan. Cullinan has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for services to arts. The art historian and curator was appointed the twelfth director of the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2015.

Dr Nick Merriman, who has been the Chief Executive and Director of Content for the Horniman since May 2018, has been awarded an OBE for services to the Arts and to Heritage.

Felicity Ann Dahl has been appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to philanthropy, literature and young people. Dahl is the founder of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

Chief Executive Officer of the Southbank Centre, Elaine Bedell has been appointed an OBE for services to business and the arts.

Chairman of Lancashire’s Fusiliers Museum, Colonel (Rtd) Brian Mark Gorski MBE, has been presented a CBE for services to museums and to the community.

At the National Trust, Diane Ruddock has been awarded an OBE for services to the environment, heritage and the community in Northern Ireland while its chair René Olivieri has been awarded a CBE for services to the Charitable Sector. Alongside his work at the trust, he was appointed Chair of the RSPCA in 2019.

Director of Finance and Corporate Services at London’s Natural History Museum, Neil Greenwood, has been appointed an MBE for services to museums.

For services to Heritage and Tourism, Steve Miller, Director of Culture and Heritage and Head of Norfolk Museums Service at Norfolk County Council has been appointed an MBE.

Melanie Gardner, the Fine and Decorative Arts Curator at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle was awarded a BEM for services to Arts and Culture in Cumbria. Gardner has served in the role at the museum since 1988.

Edward Album, the founder of Settle & Carlisle Railway Trust, was awarded the OBE for services to railway heritage and to communities in northern England.

The President of World Heritage UK, Chris Blandford, was appointed OBE for services to world heritage.

In sector adjacent funding organisations, Alexandra Vincent, the former Chief Operating Officer of the Arts and Humanities Research Council was appointed an MBE for services to Research Funding; and Sophia Weston, Deputy Chair of the Garfield Weston Foundation – which regularly funds major museum and heritage projects – has been appointed an MBE for services to arts philanthropy.

A full list of those to receive a title can be found here.

Back to top