You can imagine the envy over Christmas dinner round at the Bells'. Martin parading his medal every year since 1992; older sister Anthea grumbling cynically into her turkey about God and the Empire.
But next year will be different. For Gordon Brown (through his mouthpiece Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, the scourge of all lisp sufferers) has bestowed upon Anthea Bell that very same medal her little brother got for his reporting. In this case for services to literature and literary translation. Just in time to thumb her nose at Martin on New Year's Eve, no less.
As the Goethe Institut tells us, "her languages are Danish, French, German and Polish, she translates everything from children’s books to serious literature, from the Asterix and Inkworld books to WG Sebald and Stefan Zweig."
Long may she reign.