New Year’s Honours: Observer columnist Katharine Whitehorn accepts gong after 1960s refusal

Veteran Observer columnist Katharine Whitehorn has accepted being made a CBE after turning down an honour in the 1960s.

Witty observations on women’s issues are the trademark of the 85-year-old Hampstead resident and her cool, dry humour has been published in the pages of the Sunday newspaper since 1960.

Her landmark 1963 column on domestic sluts, celebrating women who didn’t conform to the 1960s feminine ideal, made her a household name with Observer readers.

“I was offered an honour ages ago, for something I’d done on a government committee, and I turned it down because I thought it would look as if I’d sold out,” Ms Whitehorn wrote last week.

“All right for worthy old dames, I thought, but not for a struggling journalist. So now I am a worthy old dame and glad of it.”


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