The celebrities who turned them down
Watch: Jonathan Pryce Gets Knight Title in Queen’s Birthday Honors
Another crop of famous faces and other deserving Britons was recognized this week as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.
Among the most notable awards is a chivalry for Game of thrones actor Jonathan Pryce and one lady for The Great British Cake Judge Prue Leith. Dancer, choreographer and former Come dance strictly Judge Arlene Phillips was also made a lady.
Read more: Explain the different grades of honor
There were also awards for singers Lulu, Engelbert Humperdinck and Alison Moyet, TV personality Robert Rinder, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and The repair shop presenter Jay Blades.
But not everyone was delighted to be offered an honor by the Queen. Here are some of the celebrities who have declined or given their honors over the years …
David Bowie refused a knight’s title
David Bowie has naturally been offered several accolades for his work in the world of music. He refused a CBE in 2000 and also declined the knight three years later.
In an interview with The Sun after Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was knighted in 2003, Bowie said, “I would never intend to accept something like that. I really don’t know. it’s not what I’ve spent my life working for. It’s not for me to pass judgment on Jagger, it’s his decision. But it’s just not for me.
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders turned down OBEs
The comedy duo said no to OBEs in 2001, with Saunders later told Source magazine that she would accept lady status “if I felt I deserved” to receive one. She added: “Back then we felt we were paid very well to have a lot of fun. It didn’t seem right somehow. We didn’t deserve a pat on the back. It was a little wrong to stand with people who have dedicated their lives to truly worthy causes. “
Danny Boyle refused a knight’s title
Unsurprisingly, filmmaker Danny Boyle was offered the title of knight following the 2012 Olympics. The opening ceremony he hosted – with a queen in a parachute – sparked a tremendous moment of unity. national. however, Boyle said he refused the honor because it’s “just not me” and accepting it would undermine the work of the dozens of other people who helped make the ceremony a success.
George Harrison turned down an OBE
All four of the Beatles were awarded MBEs at their peak in 1965, and all but one retained the honors. More on this other later.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have both been knighted since, but George Harrison never received the honor. He was offered an OBE in the New Year’s honors list in 2000, but declined. Journalist Ray Connolly later said Harrison “would have felt insulted” to be offered an OBE, three years after McCartney was knighted.
Harrison died in 2001 and never received his knighthood.
John Lennon delivered an MBE
Lennon received an MBE with his band mates in 1965, but returned it before his assassination in 1980. His anti-war policies during the 1960s led him to relinquish the honor in 1969, writing a Partly serious and part offhand note to the Queen reading: “I am handing over my MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support for America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slide up the charts. “
He later wrote that he regretted the mention of his solo single Cold Turkey, feeling that this demeaned the more serious side of his statement.
Nigella Lawson turned down an OBE
As arguably the UK’s most famous TV chef, it was no surprise when Nigella Lawson was offered an OBE in 2001. She declined the honor, however, saying, “I don’t save lives and I don’t do anything other than something that I absolutely love.”
Jim Broadbent turned down an OBE
After beloved actor Jim Broadbent won an Oscar for his performance in the 2001 film Iris, he was offered an OBE. Broadbent turned it down, saying The Guardian in 2014: “I’ve been pretty selfish with everything I’ve done and get enough awards elsewhere that I didn’t think I deserved it, really.”
He further said that “actors should be anti-establishment, and I like the idea of being a thug and a vagabond and not being appreciated by the powers that be.” Of course, this philosophy is not really compatible with receiving a medal in a palace.
Michael Sheen surrendered his OBE
Michael Sheen accepted an OBE in 2009, but revealed to reporter Owen Jones last year that he returned the award in 2017. He had been asked to give a talk and, in preparation, immersed himself in Welsh history which he felt was incompatible with continuing to receive the honor.
“I really felt incredibly honored when I received it and it meant a lot to me and my family,” he said, adding that he would be a “hypocrite” if he retained the title given ” the nature of the relationship between Wales and the British State, and their history ”.
Jon Snow turned down an OBE
One of Britain’s best-known journalists and newsreaders, Jon Snow turned down an OBE in 2000 and was a virulent criticism of the system of distinctions in its current form, by making a documentary titled Secrets of the distinctions system. He said he turned down the award because he was a “working journalist” and, in an interview with the National Union of Students, added: “I don’t think working hackers should take the honors from the authorities they are responsible for reporting “.
Benjamin Zephaniah refused an OBE
Poet Benjamin Zephaniah challenged the concept of the British Empire when offered an OBE in 2003. Writing in The Guardian, he explained: “I get angry when I hear that word ’empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds me of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my forefathers were raped and my forefathers brutalized. ” He also wrote that he honors “compromise writers and poets” and that he was shocked to see so many of his contemporaries willingly accept them.
Watch: Highlights of the Queen’s Honors 2021