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Queen Guitarist Brian May Knighted by King Charles at Buckingham Palace
By Gil Kaufman,
Brian May said he had “no words!” for the honor of being knighted by England’s King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (March 14). In a photo posted on Instagram of the gilded ceremony, May smiled beatifically as Charles laid a ceremonial sword tap on the Queen guitarist’s left shoulder.
May, 75 — who will now be known as Sir Brian — was knighted for his services to music and charity during the investiture ceremony where he received the title of Knight Bachelor. The official Queen Twitter account shared a congratulatory note, writing , “Arise Sir Brian May. Brian’s investiture as a Knight of the Realm took place at Buckingham Palace. The knighthood was presented to Brian by His Royal Highness, King Charles. Many congratulations, Sir Brian!”
Queen drummer Roger Taylor has also been honored with a royal title, following his appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2020; May was also previously given the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005.
May joins a long list of English rock stars who’ve been knighted, including Live Aid organizer/Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, Cliff Richard, producer and “Fifth Beatle” George Martin, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Elton John, Placido Domingo, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Bono, Van Morrison, the Kinks’ Ray Davies and the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb.
Becoming a knight or a dame is one of the highest-ranking awards in the British honours system, followed by CBE, the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). A knighthood or damehood entitles recipients to use the title of sir or dame if they wish to do so.