Olympics & sport: Hadid will go to the Palace (but not to her Aquatics Centre)


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The Independent Online

Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, who recently complained about not being given a single ticket to watch the Olympic swimming in the Aquatics Centre she designed, will be able to content herself with a day out at the Palace.

Ms Hadid, who already holds a CBE and has won the UK's Stirling Prize for architecture for the last two years in a row, has been made a Dame.

"I've met the Queen on several occasions, in Istanbul and here in London, but of course this is quite a different matter and I'm sure one will be nervous," she said.

The Aquatics Centre, with its undulating roof, is the jewel in the architectural crown of the Olympic Park, and will be the first site to greet visitors through the main entrance.

Its beauty has for some been compromised a little by the two huge wedges of temporary seating that have been tucked under its flanks for the games. They will provide almost 17,000 seats, but none have been reserved for for Ms Hadid. "It's just rude," she said last month.

The former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has also been made a Dame for her "service in support of the Olympic Games". Ms Jowell was an instrumental figure in bringing the games to London while heading the Department of Culture Media and Sport under Tony Blair. It was her budget of £9.3bn, revised up from £2.4bn, that the current government claims it has significantly underspent.

Golfer Luke Donald, the current world number one, was appointed MBE for "services to golf".

Shane Williams, the recently retired Welsh rugby winger, was also appointed MBE.

The former Chelsea footballer Paul Elliot, whose career was cut short with a knee injury, was appointed CBE, to add to his MBE for services to equality and diversity in football.

The showjumper Nick Skelton, currently in the 38th year of his career, was appointed OBE, while recipients of the re-introduced British Empire Medal include the retired middleweight boxer Terence "Terry" Downes, who at 76 is the country's oldest surviving boxing world champion.