Arise Sir Lenny…Posted: 9th of June 2015 by
Okay joking – Lenny Henry is indeed to be knighted, but the words ‘Arise Sir…’ aren’t actually used. What’s the history behind the knighthood? Who has one, who’s turned one down and who’s been stripped of theirs?
A knighthood (or Damehood if you’re female) is one of the highest honours conferred on people by the Queen. You have to be a British Citizen to hold a full knighthood; otherwise you can be given an honorary knighthood but you don’t get to use the title ‘Sir’.
The origins are thought to trace back to ancient Rome with the knightly class Ordo Equestris and historically were awarded for military activity, although this is no longer the case.
If you watch Game of Thrones then you’ll be familiar with Podrick who squires for Brienne of Tarth. Obviously Brienne cannot knight Podrick but in essence, Podrick would have been a knight in the making – undertaking military training and assisting a knight (come on – we all think that Brienne is pretty much a knight anyway) – unfortunately, being a knight would be costly and the chances of Podrick being able to afford all the garb needed (horse and sword for a start) are pretty low.
Nowadays, knighthoods are awarded for lots of services and not limited to military prowess.
So, who has been knighted?
- Bob Geldolf
- Sean Connery
- Michael Caine
- Paul McCartney
- Patrick Stewart
Who refused a knighthood?
- David Bowie
- Roald Dahl
- Aldous Huxley
Who has been stripped of theirs?
- Lester Piggot - Jockey
- Naseem Hamed – Boxer
- Robert Mugabe – had his honorary knighthood annulled
NOT Jimmy Saville – when someone dies, they cease to hold the title and therefore cannot be stripped of it
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