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Famous people who have turned down Knighthood

These famous people rejected one of the highest honours, ruler of England can bestow on you.

Knights were one of the most important figures in the court of the Ruler of England. Even though there are no brave knights nowadays, like medieval time but still getting Knighted by King or Queen of England still remain one of the highest honour, an individual can get. But there are many people who didn’t accept this honour and have turned down Knighthood. The reason behind these refusals may vary from person to person. So, here is the list of people who have turned down Knighthood.

David Bowie

There are many pop and rock stars who have been Knighted by Queen. Some of them are Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, and Sir Elton John. But there is one English singer who has turned down Knighthood. Legendary singer David Bowie was awarded Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth in the year 2003. But he respectfully declined the honour stating that he has no idea what it is for? And that is not something he has worked for all his life.

Robert Morley

The famous English playwright and actor, who was known for his variety of rotund eccentrics, was awarded Knighthood in the year 1975. He refused the honour for unknown reasons but did accept an Order of the British Empire or OBE earlier in the year 1957.

Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing was a celebrated novelist who was awarded Nobel Prize for literature. She is known for her affinity to communism and has often rebelled against the monarchy. When in 1993, she was awarded Knighthood at the age of 74, she refused the honour. She stated that she could not accept an honour at old age from an institution she spoke against in her younger years. She even refused an OBE.

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was India’s most celebrated writer, poet, playwright, composer, painter, and philosopher. He was also the first non-European to be awarded Nobel Prize for literature. He was awarded Knighthood in the year 1915 by King George V, which he respectfully accepted. But after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, where hundreds of innocent civilians were gunned down mercilessly by General Dyer in the year 1919, he renounced his Knighthood. He stated that the time has come that he sides with his beloved countrymen who had to suffer the degradation that is not fit for humans.

Do you know of other famous people who said no to Knighthood?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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