Famous people who have refused honors from the Queen and why they refused them

The list of celebrities who have received honors from the Queen is long and illustrious. But the list of celebrities who have rejected them is also quite impressive.

For many, it would be a high praise. Many, however, have rejected them for a variety of reasons, from personal to political. National Health Service heroes, sports stars and community champions have received gongs in This Year’s Queen’s Birthday Honors.

However, several celebrities have turned down the opportunity when it has been presented to them or have even returned their accolade. Here’s a look at the stars who said ‘no thanks’ when receiving an honor, mirror write



David Bowie performing at Giant Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
David Bowie performing at Giant Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

David Bowie

The late great David Bowie actually turned down two awards. He refused to accept a CBE in 2000 and three years later he refused a knighthood. He said: “I would never have any intention of agreeing to something like that. Seriously, I don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”

Bowie did not join the list of musical gentlemen, including Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John. When asked if his fellow rocker Jagger would accept the honor, he said, “It’s not for me to judge Jagger, it’s his call. But it’s just not for me.” But he refused to discuss whether or not he was against the monarchy, as he lived in the United States at the time, where he sadly died in 2016.



John Lennon playing on a bus
John Lennon playing on a bus

John Lennon

Beatles legend John Lennon sent his MBE back in protest at Britain’s involvement in the Nigerian civil war in 1966. He was uncomfortable accepting the honor in case it appeared to endorse the establishment.

Along with the medal, he sent the Queen a note that read: “Your Majesty, I return this in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra affair, against our support for the United States in Vietnam, and against the fall of Cold Turkey on the charts. Love, John Lennon from Bag.”

His MBE medal remained in the vault of the Royal Household Chancery Department, but his title was held until his tragic death in 1980. The rules state that “a person may decide to voluntarily relinquish his honor” but “he would still have the honor “. unless or until SM Queen annuls it.”



George Harrison enjoys the company of two young women in bikinis
George Harrison enjoys the company of two young women in bikinis

George Harrison

Meanwhile, his bandmate George Harrison was unhappy when Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997. Harrison was said to have been “insulted” by the snub, as he had always resented being in McCartney’s and Lennon’s shadow.

In 2013, Cabinet Office documents reveal that Harrison refused an OBE after Paul was knighted due to his inferior status. “Whoever decided to offer him the OBE and not the knighthood was extraordinarily insensitive,” his friend Roy Connolly said. The Daily Mail. “George would have been insulted, and with very good reason.”

The OBE was recommended by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to recognize Harrison’s significant contribution to the music industry. He said: “He was a member of a band that a lot of people would say is the best thing Britain has ever produced, and possibly the best thing in the world, The Beatles.”



Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders pose with the Fellowship Award at the BAFTA Television Awards 2009
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders pose with the Fellowship Award at the BAFTA Television Awards 2009

French and Saunders

Comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders turned down OBEs “for services to comedy drama” in 2001. Explaining why later, Saunders said, “If I felt like I deserved Damehood, I’d take it,” she told Source. magazine. “At the time, we felt like we were being paid very well to have a lot of fun. It didn’t seem right somehow. We didn’t deserve a pat on the back. It felt a little fake to be around people who dedicated their lives to truly worthwhile causes.”



Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

In 2008, the genius Stephen Hawking said that in the late 1990s he had been offered a knighthood, but turned it down. It was later said that it was because the government dealt with cuts and funding of science.



Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow
Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow

jon snow

Having refused an OBE in 2000, Channel 4 jon newscaster Snow he went on to make a documentary in 2002 titled ‘Secrets of the Honors System’. He remains critical of the use of ‘Empire’ in our honors system. “I tried to find out why they gave it to me and I couldn’t get a clear answer or, for that matter, find out who had proposed to me,” he said later.



miguel shine
miguel shine

miguel shine

welsh actor Michael Sheen, who received an OBE in 2009He returned it years later. The star received the title in the 2009 New Year Honors for his services to drama, but he recounted how he returned it to her a few years later because he didn’t want to be a “hypocrite.”

During an interview with journalist Owen Jones, the Underworld actor said he changed his mind about the award when he started researching Welsh history.

This came about when he was invited to speak at the Institute of Learning and Work’s annual Raymond Williams Memorial Lecture, which was organized in association with the Open University of Wales in 2017.

Sheen said he meant “absolutely no disrespect” by returning the OBE, adding that at the time he was “incredibly honored” to have received it.

He added: “I just realized that I would be a hypocrite if I said the things I was going to say at the conference about the nature of the relationship between Wales and the British state.”



Nigella Lawson at home
Nigella Lawson at home

Nigella Lawson

The celebrity chef turned down the offer of an OBE in 2001. The reality star explained, “I’m not saving lives and I’m not doing anything other than something I absolutely love.”



Skepta
Skepta

Skepta

Tottenham native Skepta, whose real name is Joseph Junior Adenuga, says he turned down an MBE for 2017 New Year’s honours. He dropped the bombshell on his song Hypocrisy. In the second verse of Hypocrisy, the grime artist raps: “I just got back from the Ivors/And look what we collected/The MBE was rejected/I’m not trying to be accepted.”



Fawlty Towers John Cleese as Basil Fawlty
Fawlty Towers John Cleese as Basil Fawlty

John Cleese

The Monty Python star was offered a CBE in 1996 but turned it down because he said they were “dumb”. He turned down a number of offers, including a peerage from Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown in 1999.

He refused as he felt that staying in England for the winter months to fulfill his role as co-worker was “too much of a price to pay” to sit in the Lords. He told The Sunday Telegraph that it had been offered to him “not because I was such a wonderful human being, but because he had helped them.” [Lib Dems] much”.



Danny BoyleDirector
Danny BoyleDirector

Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle, director and man behind the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, turned down an honor because he thought it was “wrong”.

“It’s just not me,” he said. She added that thousands participated in the execution of the ceremony. “You can make these speeches about ‘this is everybody’s job, blah blah blah,’” she said. to carry out something like this: through the efforts of all the people. I don’t know if I will ever be invited to the Palace again.”



Roald Dahl wrote works like The Twits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Roald Dahl wrote works like The Twits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl turned down an OBE in the 1986 New Year Honours. It is believed he hoped to be knighted to raise his status to “Sir” and his wife to “Lady Dahl” . Tragically, the beloved author died without honors in 1990.

Other famous faces who have turned down Birthday Honors

  • CS Lewis, writer (d 1963), turned down CBE in 1952
  • Graham Greene, writer (d 1991) turned down CBE in 1956
  • J. B. Priestley, writer (died 1984), refused the Peerage in 1965 and Companion of Honor in 1969
  • Francis Bacon, artist (d 1992) turned down CBE in 1960
  • Robert Graves, poet (d 1985) turned down CBE in 1957 and CH 1984
  • CS Forester, writer (d 1966) turned down a CBE in 1953
  • Eleanor Farjeon, author (died 1965) turned down the OBE in 1959
  • John Ireland, songwriter (died 1962), turned down CBE in 1959
  • Major Derek Allhusen, equestrian Olympic medalist (d 2000), turned down MBE in 1969
  • Albert Finney turned down a CBE in 1980 and a knighthood in 2000

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