LEWIS Hamilton, Marcus Rashford and hundreds of NHS heroes face a wait of more than a year before they get their gongs from the Queen.
Investiture ceremonies have been postponed for the past nine months due to Covid restrictions — with none planned this year.
F1 champ Lewis may have to wait until 2022 to get his gongCredit: AFP
It means there is a backlog of about 3,300 people — including Mary Berry and Olivia Newton-John — still waiting for their knighthoods, damehoods OBEs, MBEs and CBEs.
And the list is set to grow by another 1,200 this summer when the Queen’s Birthday Honours are announced.
Palace insiders insist everyone will receive their gong personally at a ceremony from Her Majesty or a senior royal.
A royal source said: “There is a backlog, but it is quite a strong held belief that part of receiving an award is the fact that you are honoured by going to the Palace or Castle with a member of the Royal Family present.
“There are no plans to post them out or get the Queen’s lord lieutenants doing it locally.”
There are still 500 people yet to receive their awards who were named in the New Year’s Honours list in December 2019, including Olivia Newton-John, who got a damehood.
Free meals campaigner and footballer Marcus Rashford also faces a lengthy waitCredit: EPA
There is a backlog of about 3,300 people — including Mary BerryCredit: PA:Press Association
Actress Olivia Newton-John must also wait a while until she is able to pick up her damehoodCredit: AP:Associated Press
Since then, the Queen announced 1,495 awards for her Birthday Honours List in October, including Mary Berry’s damehood.
Plus there were 1,239 on 2020’s New Year’s List, including Craig David’s MBE and Lewis Hamilton’s knighthood.
Royals would need to fit in 75 full days of investitures to clear the backlog.
In a normal year, there are 30 ceremonies, each catering for 60 heroes.
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