Sir Quentin Blake has ‘renewed enthusiasm’ for work after receiving top honour

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Sir Quentin Blake has said joining a prestigious order in recognition of his services to illustration means he will set about new projects with “renewed effort and enthusiasm”.

The illustrator has been made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, ahead of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

He told the PA news agency: “Of course it is an enormous privilege to be appointed a Companion of Honour, but it is also of special interest to me because it is not, unlike so many awards, just a medal that is pinned on you.

“On the one hand it acknowledges what you have done previously, but on the other looks forward to what you are going to do in the future.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Sir Quentin Blake being knighted by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2013 (Lewis Whyld/PA)

“I have every hope that I have more projects in view but my new role means that I will set about them with renewed effort and enthusiasm.”

Sir Quentin is best known for his lengthy collaboration with the author Roald Dahl, beginning with his illustrations on Dahl’s 1978 story The Enormous Crocodile.

He went on to illustrate children’s classics including Matilda, The BFG, and The Twits.

Born in Sidcup in Kent, the 89-year-old has written and illustrated more than 500 books over a career spanning seven decades.

In 2013, he was knighted by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace for services to illustration as part of the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

The Order of the Companions of Honour was established in 1917 by George V in recognition of service of national importance.

It is sometimes regarded as the junior honour to the Order of Merit and it is made up of the sovereign, plus no more than 65 members, who may use the letters CH after their names.

Sir Quentin joins an illustrious list of previous recipients who include broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, musician Sir Elton John, actress Dame Judi Dench, and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

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