33 Famous People Who Have Been Knighted

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List Criteria: Celebrities who are official or honorary knights

A list of famous people who have been knighted, ranked by fame and popularity by fans of British chivalry like you. Being knighted is one of the highest honors that an individual can hope to receive. Famous people have been knighted for their contributions to music, film, theater and charity work. In special cases, honorary knighthoods can be bestowed upon worthy candidates from foreign countries.

Who is the most famous person who has been knighted? Ronald Reagan tops our list. Reagan received an honorary knighthood in 1989 from Queen Elizabeth II. After the ceremony Reagan made a statement saying, “I feel greatly honored. I can't say how proud I am.” Four years after Reagan received the honor, his vice president and President at the time George H.W. Bush, also received the honorary knighthood.

Several famous musicians have been knighted. English super star Paul McCartney was given the honor in 1997 and Elton John was knighted the following year. Actors, Ben Kingsley and Patrick Steward have also received the great honor of knighthood, as has the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. The French also bestow honorary knighthoods and recipients include Clint Eastwood and Robert DeNiro.

What do you think of the famous people who have been knighted? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  1. In 2000, Sean Connery was knighted by the Queen.  Connery is a firm supporter of Scotland's Independence and it is believed that this stance caused a delay in his knighthood.
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    • Age: age 85
    • Birthplace: Fountainbridge, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Dr. No, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock
  2. In 2010, Robert Redford was inducted into France's elite Legion of Honor by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
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    • Age: age 78
    • Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Activist, Businessperson, Environmentalist, Television producer, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, All the President's Men, Out of Africa
  3. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an honorary knighthood on Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
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    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States of America
    • Profession: Programmer, Software Architect, Businessperson, Investor, Entrepreneur
    • Credits: The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires, Freakonomics, Give Us the Money, The Billionaires' Pledge
  4. Clint Eastwood was made a commander in the prestigious French Legion of Honor in 2009 by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
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    • Age: age 85
    • Birthplace: California, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Businessperson, Politician, Pianist, Television producer, + more
    • Credits: Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Unforgiven, Rawhide
  5. In 2000, Michael Caine was knighted by the Queen for his services to the British screen.
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    • Age: age 82
    • Birthplace: Rotherhithe, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Entrepreneur, Film Producer, Author, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, The Prestige, Inception
  6. Bob Hope is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 33 Famous People Who Have Been Knighted
    Photo: Marion S. Trikosko/Wikimedia Commons
    Bob Hope was given an honorary knighthood for his work supporting the troops of various wars with his comedy and entertainment.
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    • Age: Died at 100 (1903-2003)
    • Birthplace: Eltham, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Author, Athlete, + more
    • Credits: The Bob Hope Show, The 50th Annual Academy Awards, Bob Hope: The First 90 Years, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
  7. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Paul McCartney in 1997 because he helped to revolutionize pop music.
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    • Age: age 73
    • Birthplace: North West England, Walton, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom, + more
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Poet, Businessperson, Record producer, Television director, + more
    • Credits: A Hard Day's Night, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, American Hustle, Vanilla Sky
  8. In 2010, Captain Jean Luc Picard became Sir Patrick Stewart.
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    • Age: age 75
    • Birthplace: Mirfield, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Television director, Journalist, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand
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