Queen Elizabeth II: 10 successful sportswomen honoured by the monarch

Helen Glover, Emma Hayes, Kelly Holmes

The world paid their respects on Monday as Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch, was laid to rest.

During her 70 years on the throne, the Queen honoured many individuals for their services to sport.

We have looked at 10 of the trailblazing sportswomen to receive an official title under her reign.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 24: Gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill of Great Britain poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s Heptathlon during day three of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

When was she honoured?

Jessica Ennis-Hill was made an MBE in 2011 in recognition of her sporting achievements.

She received a CBE for her services to athletics in 2012 and was made a dame in the 2016 New Year Honours.

What did she achieve?

Throughout her decorated career, Ennis-Hill won an Olympic gold and silver medal, a European Championship title, and was a three-time World Champion in the heptathlon.

She also won gold and silver in the pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships.

Dame Kelly Holmes

POLITIA, GREECE – AUGUST 29: Olympic 800m and 1500m Champion Kelly Holmes of Great Britain, who will carry the British flag at the Athens 2004 closing ceremony, poses with her gold medals during a BOA Medal Winners Press Conference at the Politia Tennis Club, on the August 29, 2004 in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images).

When was she honoured?

Kelly Holmes was awarded an MBE in 1998 after serving more than ten years in the British Army, and was made a dame for her services to athletics in 2005.

What did she achieve?

Holmes started training in athletics when she was 12 years of age but turned her attention away when she joined the army at 18.

She served until 1997, when increased funding allowed her to pursue a career as a full-time athlete.

During her track career, Holmes won two gold medals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, winning the 800m and 1500m events. She also won two Commonwealth gold medals and held the British 800m record until 2021.

Dame Laura Kenny

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: Laura Kenny of Team England celebrates with their flag after winning Gold in the Women’s 10km Scratch Race on day four of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Lee Valley Velopark Velodrome on August 01, 2022 on the London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

When was she honoured?

Laura Kenny was awarded an OBE in 2016 and a CBE the following year for her services to cycling.

In the 2022 New Year Honours, she was made a dame alongside her husband Jason, who was knighted.

What did she achieve?

Kenny is the most successful female cyclist and most successful British sportswoman in Olympic history.

She has five Olympic gold medals and one silver across the team pursuit, omnium and madison events. She has also won seven World Championships, 14 European Championships and two Commonwealth Games titles.

Dame Sarah Storey

Team GB's Sarah Storey
Team GB’s Sarah Storey celebrates winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics

When was she honoured?

In 1998 and 2009 respectively, Storey was awarded an MBE and an OBE for services to swimming for people with disabilities, and services to disabled sport.

She received her damehood in 2013 for services to para-cycling.

What did she achieve?

With 28 medals, including 17 gold at the Games, Storey is the most decorated British Paralympian of all time.

She has succeeded in swimming and cycling and won five Paralympic gold medals before the age of 19.

Charlotte Dujardin CBE

Charlotte Dujardin celebrates winning gold at Tokyo 2020
Charlotte Dujardin celebrates winning gold at Tokyo 2020

When was she honoured?

Charlotte Dujardin received an OBE in 2013 and a CBE in 2017 for services to equestrianism.

What did she achieve?

Dujardin won three Olympic medals, two gold and one silver, all in individual dressage, and a gong of every colour in the team event.

She is also a five-time European Dressage Champion and has won two Dressage World Cups.

Dujardin has been described as the most dominant dressage rider of her era.

Emma Hayes OBE

WATFORD, ENGLAND – MARCH 14: Emma Hayes, Manager of Chelsea celebrates with the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Trophy after the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Final match between Bristol City Women and Chelsea Women at Vicarage Road on March 14, 2021 in Watford, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

When was she honoured?

Emma Hayes was awarded an MBE in 2016 and an OBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for her services to football.

What did she achieve?

Since becoming manager of Chelsea Women in 2012, Hayes has won 11 major trophies.

After guiding the Blues to their third consecutive Women’s Super League title last season — and fifth overall — she is the most successful manager in England’s top flight.

Helen Glover MBE

WINDSOR, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: (L-R) Helen Glover and Heather Stanning of Great Britain celebrate with their gold medals during the medal ceremony after the Women’s Pair Final A on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 1, 2012 in Windsor, England. Australia won silver and New Zealand won bronze. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

When was she honoured?

Helen Glover received an MBE for services to rowing in 2013.

What did she achieve?

Glover dominated the rowing scene for many years by winning two Olympic golds, three World Championships, and five World Cups. She is also a four-time European champion.

Alongside partner Heather Stanning, she won the Olympic, World and European title in the coxless pairs and set multiple world records.

Sian Massey-Ellis MBE

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 11: Assistant referee Sian Massey looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and West Bromwich at St Mary’s Stadium on January 11, 2014 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

When was she honoured?

In 2016, Sian Massey-Ellis received an MBE for her services to football.

What did she achieve?

Massey-Ellis is one of the country’s leading female referees. She has officiated in the Women’s Champions League, Women’s World Cup and the men’s Europa League.

In 2021, she became the first English woman to officiate a men’s European fixture. She has also been a regular assistant referee in men’s Premier League games since 2010.

Jill Scott MBE

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 31: Jill Scott of England celebrates with her medal after the 2-1 win during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

When was she honoured?

Jill Scott was awarded an MBE for her services to English football in 2019.

What did she achieve?

The former midfielder is England’s second highest capped player of all time with 161.

Scott was part of the history-making Lionesses squad that won the 2022 European Championships, ending the nation’s 56-year wait for a major trophy.

At domestic level, she won three FA Cups, three League Cups and the WSL title.

Fara Williams MBE

ZENICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – APRIL 12: Fara Williams of England in action during the UEFA Women’s European Championship Qualifier match between Bosnia and Herzegovina and England at FF BIH Football Training Centre on April 12, 2016 in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

When was she honoured?

Fara Williams was awarded an MBE for her services to women’s football and charity in 2016.

What did she achieve?

Williams is the most capped England player in history, male or female, with a huge 172.

During her domestic career, she won two WSL titles with Liverpool and the FA Cup with both Everton and Arsenal.

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