The Queen isabel II, one of the monarchs with the longest reign with 70 years, witnessed different events related with the entertainment world giving different figures the title of Sir (gentleman in Spanish).
This is the highest degree awarded by the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and it is granted to those who are not part of the monarchy, achieving a higher status. Personalities who excelled in the sciences, art, or did charity work.
Queen Elizabeth II and the recognition of the Beatles
One of the most remembered moments was the meeting of John, Paul, George and Ringo with the queen, when they visited Buckingham Palace in full Beatlemania. On October 26, 1965, the musicians arrived in a Rolls Royce for the award ceremony in the great throne room. The musicians would be decorated with the Order of the British Empire. In those days, the Beatles were finishing the edition of Rubber Soul that would come out in December of that year.
More of 4 thousand fans waited to the musicians at the palace gate. Everyone wanted to say hi or get autographs from the famous musicians. The police could not prevent some of the supporters from climbing the imposing fence to gain entry.
On November 25, 1969, Lennon returned the honorary medal as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). She had it sent to the queen by her chauffeur Les Anthony for her to deliver to Buckingham.
Also, the musician sent Queen Elizabeth II a letter detailing the reason. “I reject this medal as a form of protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra affair, against our supportor to the United States in Vietnam and against the decline of ‘Cold Turkey’ in the lists of the most listened to songs”, the latter with a touch of humor.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are also “Sir”
In 1997, the famous Beatles singer and bassist was knighted for services to music. In turn, in 2018, he was named “Honor Companion” by the queen. “This is a great honor for me and my family and I think about what proud that my mother and father would have felt in Liverpool,” McCartney said in a statement. “70 beautiful years of Queen Elizabeth II. Congratulations ma’am! And thank you”, Paul greeted the Queen on her Instagram account for her Jubilee.
For its part, Ringo Starr he obtained the title of “Sir”, as Duke of Cambridge Knight of the British Empire, in 2018. The ceremony was held at Buckingham Palace. The drummer stressed that he was “an honor and a pleasure” be “regarded and recognized” for their music and for their charity work. Richard Starkey -real name of the beatle- attended the ceremony accompanied by his wife, Barbara Bach, with whom he married in 1981.
Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees: “If it wasn’t for my brothers, I wouldn’t be here.”
Months after Ringo’s award, musician Barry Gibba member of the famous band, received the “Sir” decoration from the hands of the Prince carlos. The musician was accompanied by his wife and children. He was very happy and highlighted the importance of his brothers in his career.
“If it wasn’t for my brothers, I wouldn’t be here. If I had dedicated my whole life to writing songs on my own, it would have been something completely different, ”he said in June 2018. Gibb already had the title of “Commander of the British Empire” and has now become a Knight, for his contribution to music and charity.
Mick Jagger: “You don’t have to take it so seriously”
In December 2003, a year and a half after British Prime Minister Tony Blair proposed his appointment, Mick Jagger became Knight of the British Empire. Yes, from that day on, the singer of the Rolling Stones was called “Sir”.
The appointment was a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace. A recognition of services rendered to the crown in the field of music. The musician received it from the Prince carlos, since the queen was admitted to a private hospital in London, where she had undergone knee surgery.
In the previous one, Jagger said that it was nice to receive the distinction, as long as “You don’t take it too seriously.” His eternal partner, Keith Richards did not think the same. For the guitarist, receiving that distinction is something “despicable” and “ridiculous”. “I don’t want to go onstage with someone wearing a crown and an ermine cape,” Richards recently commented.
Elton John: “This is just a reminder that there is more to do”
The brilliant singer and pianist was named “Sir” in 1998, a year after the death of her friend Lady Di. As happened in the previous ones, the recognition came for his work in music and his charitable side.
In 2021, Elton John joined the Companions of Honour. “I’ve had an amazing life, music has been my life, and I received this for my music and charity work,” he said. “This is just a reminder that there is more to do. More work to be done for music, more work to be done for charity and life is great, I am very lucky”, he concluded.
Rod Stewart: “I wish my mom had been here to see it”
The singer arrived at the ceremony wearing plaid-patterned trousers and a scarlet-trimmed military-style jacket as he was made Sir by Prince William at Buckingham Palace.
The interpreter, owner of hits like “Maggie May”, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “You Wear It Well”, was honored “for his services to music and charitable causes”, in 2016. Since then, the rocker became “Sir Roderick David Stewart”.
After the ceremony, Rod said that during the meeting with the prince “they talked about music and where he said ‘it’s great that you’re still working’ and I said ‘I have to do it, I have eight children!'” “He congratulated me on my long career, and I told him how happy he has made me,” Stewart said. “I just wish my mom could have been here to see it,” he completed about that emotional moment.
The singer was accompanied by his wife Penny Lancaster and their children Alastair, Aiden to the investiture ceremony. “I thank your majesty and I promise to behave well,” he concluded.
In 2007, the UK Ambassador to Ireland, David Reddway, awarded Bondsinger of U2, at a ceremony in Dublin attended by the band’s guitarist and bassist, The Edge and Adam Clayton, as well as his wife, Ali, and their four children, Jordan, Eve, Eli and John.
“You can call me whatever you want, except sir.”, Bono maintained upon receiving the award, while offering alternatives such as “lord, lord of lords or demigod.” During the ceremony, a letter was read from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, where he highlighted the singer’s achievements in the musical and humanitarian fields.
“I leave it to others with much more musical knowledge than me to talk about U2; I’m just saying that, like many millions around the world, I’m a huge fan,” Blair said in her message. Honorary degrees of the Order of the British Empire are awarded by the Queen of England, on the advice of the Foreign Office, to those foreign nationals who have contributed significantly to the interests of the country.
Eric Clapton He was decorated by Queen Elizabeth II as Commander of the British Empire in 2004. It is one of Britain’s highest honors, ranking just behind the chivalric orders of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Sir Mick Jagger. On that occasion, Ray Davies, leader of the Kinks, also obtained the distinction of Commander.
BrianMay, Guitarist for the rock group Queen, he was also awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The musician received the award at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. At the ceremony, Elizabeth II joked with the musician about her interpretation of the British national anthem, the famous “God save the Queen”, from the roof of Buckingham Palace in 2002, during the monarch’s golden jubilee celebration.
According to the guitarist, the queen told him at the meeting: “It’s a little warmer down here than on the roof, isn’t it?” Likewise, the monarch was interested in the musical tours of the Queen component. “He asked me if I still enjoy touring.” In addition, May paid tribute to her friend Freddie Mercury: “I think Fred would be very proud.”