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What Is a Knighthood?

The days are gone when you had to be able to use a sword, and have a loyal squire at your side in order to become knight. For those of us who are interested those who want to be knights, the requirements now are a bit more attainable and we’re going to let you know all about it!

What exactly is knighthood?

The knighthood and knighthood traditions have deep roots across several European nations, including the UK for centuries.

While there are various orders that have been established in the country however, the majority of awards are awarded through the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In the past, the Order would just award individuals for their military and civilian efforts during wartime however, since 1917, they have also offered a wider range of accomplishments. They could include however, they are not limited to long-term services for (local) community groups, ingenuous contributions to any region or long-term service , and contributions to culture in the country, to name a few. For details on how to become a Sir, click here…

What number of different knighthood ranks exist?

In accordance with the Cabinet Office, there are five classes of ranks within the Order. They are ranked in order of importance:

Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE)
Knight Commander (or Dame Commander) of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)
Commandant of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
The Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
A member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Only the highest two ranks are able to use the titles “Sir” as well as “Dame” However, all members are able to use their rank’s initials on the beginning of their name, such as for instance “Ronnie O’Sullivan OBE”. Additionally, everyone can wear distinctive insignias or medals based on their rank. For knights as well as Dames Great Cross, they’re permitted to wear distinctive outfits comprising the grey and pink satin mantle, and an eagle collar with six gold medallions. This is to mark special occasions, such as coronations.

Can non-British citizens get knighted?

Yes, but it comes with specific rules. Non-Brits with a notable status are only eligible for “honorary knighthoods” that allow them to use post-nominal letters, such as KBE or DBEhowever they cannot use any tiles like Sir or Dame. If they later decide to become citizens of an Commonwealth nation, then your honorary title would be “upgraded” to full knighthood, and they will enjoy the privileges associated with it.

Many famous people who have the honorary knighthood title, such as Bill Gates, Bono or Steven Spielberg. One of the most well-known example are Terry Wogan, an Irish-born person who, was named in 2005 as Honorary Knight Commander. After having applied for British citizenship, was “bumped into” in the name of Sir Terry Wogan.

Has anyone ever turned down knighthood?

While being appointed to the Order of St. John is thought of as an honor by many of your peers, you may refuse the award. About 2% of nominated candidates decline the award every year mostly due to its military origins. Some famous personalities and artists who have refused the award, such as David Bowie – who declined twice -, Keith Richards or T.E. Lawrence and many others who accepted the award but later renounced the award, such as John Lennon, who sent back his award during the peace demonstrations he participated in.