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State & Ceremonial

“Happy birthday Your Majesty and thank you” – Maureen Lipman becomes a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours


One of Britain’s best loved actresses, Maureen Lipman, has been made a Dame. The honour comes for services to charity, entertainment and the arts.

Dame Maureen, who was born in Hull in 1946, is one of the most popular TV and stage actresses of the past decades. She began her career at the London Academy of Music and Dance and worked in theatre and TV before landing a starring role in sitcom, Agony , in which she played an agony aunt. By the early 1980s, she was a major TV name and in 1987 she took on the part of a grandmother in a series of BT adverts which became better known that some of the programmes they were inserted into.

Her film work includes a part in the Oscar winning movie, The Pianist, while her stage credits include an acclaimed run as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!. She also won praise for her work to finish the autobiography of her husband, playwright Jack Rosenthal, following his early death in 2004 and was equally lauded for her appearance in the radio adaptation of the book which was directed by their daughter, Amy Rosenthal.

Dame Maureen’s humanitarian work includes support for the pro-democracy movement in Burma while her charity support includes backing for International Myeloma Foundation UK.

 Speaking of her honour, Dame Maureen said: “I am proud to be honoured by the Queen and country that I love, for doing the work that I love.

“My grandfather was given the freedom to live and work in the historic and welcoming city of Hull after fleeing persecution in Russia.

“Two generations later that same city gave me, his granddaughter, a full grant to live and study drama, which led to a rich and rewarding career. It is a wonderful reflection on what, one trusts, is the continuing generosity of this country to the immigrant. So, gratefully, Happy Birthday your Majesty and thank you.”

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.