Queen guitarist Brian May, who moved to the Elstead area with his wife Anita Dobson in 2022, has been knighted in a 2023 New Year Honours list that also celebrates a host of local heroes across Surrey and Hampshire.

Among those honoured locally are nursery school founder Carolyn Stidston from Farnham, Petersfield community hero Valerie Ann Hart and charity chief executive Helen Goulden from Alton.

Dr May - who famously played God Save The Queen on the roof of Buckingham Palace to launch the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee concert this summer - was honoured for services to music and to charity in his roles as a musician, astrophysicist and animal welfare advocate.

It comes after more than 50 years as the lead guitarist of Queen, one of Britain's most popular rock bands, and follows his appointment as a CBE in 2005.

In a video message on Instagram, Dr – and soon to be Sir – Brian May said he was "thrilled and very touched" by the many messages of congratulations on his knighthood.

Other local recipients across the Herald and Post areas include:

Carolyn Stidston, founder of CS Nursery Schools Ltd, from Farnham, Surrey, appointed OBE for services to education. CS Nursery Schools runs Woodland and Pine Wood Nursery School in Lower Bourne, Churt Village Nursery School and Tilford Meadow Nursery School in Tilford.

Helen Goulden, chief executive officer of The Young Foundation, from Alton, Hampshire, appointed OBE for services to the development of sustainable communities. The Young Foundation claims to be 'the UK’s home for community research and social innovation'.

Valerie Ann Hart, of Petersfield, Hampshire, awarded MBE for services to the community in Petersfield.

Louise Margaret Wilders, of Petersfield, Hampshire, awarded MBE for services to the community in Portsmouth during Covid-19.

Ann Pinhey, music teacher and conductor, from Petersfield, Hampshire, awarded MBE for services to music, to choirs and to charity.

Michael Heath, of Tongham, Surrey, awarded MBE for services to the community in Tongham.

Read the full 2023 New Year Honours List here.

The New Year Honours List 2023 marks the incredible public service of individuals from across the UK.

Recipients in the New Year Honours List have been awarded for their outstanding contributions across all parts of the UK for their work on areas including sustained public service, youth engagement and community work.

Key members of the England Lionesses football team are also honoured after their outstanding performance in the summer.

Squad captain Leah Williamson receives an OBE, while star player Lucy Bronze, golden boot Beth Mead, and England women’s top international goal scorer Ellen White are all awarded MBEs.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Leah Williamson and Millie Bright of England lift the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Trophy after their sides victory 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 Lynne Cameron - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
England’s Lionesses hoist the European Championship trophy aloft at Wembley (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES / THE FA) (The FA via Getty Images)