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Famous People Who Have Been Knighted

Updated March 24, 2021 801.7k views36 items

List RulesCelebrities 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. Other "Sirs" knighted in England include Sean Connery, Bono, and Michael Caine.  

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 Stewart have also received the great honor of knighthood, as has the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. The French also bestow honorary knighthoods with recipients including American actors of classic and modern cinema, Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro.

What do you think of the famous people who have been knighted?

  • Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton was knighted on December 30, 2020, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's honors list. The honor was due to both his success on the track as well as his activism relating to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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    • 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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      • In 2010, Robert Redford was inducted into France's elite Legion of Honor by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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        • In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an honorary knighthood on Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

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