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10 Famous People Who Turned Down Knighthoods



Being knighted by the monarch of the United Kingdom is supposed to be a huge honor. They are generally only awarded to figures who have made a significant contribution to their chosen field or to society as a whole. Such people will be invited to attend a lavish ceremony where they will be knighted by the monarch or one of her heirs and be entitled to proceed their name with either “Sir” or “Dame”. Not every person who is offered a knighthood accepts the honor though, with many turning them down for political and moral reasons.

LS Lowry

One of the most celebrated of all British artists, the painter LS Lowry rose to fame for his work that showed off the Manchester and Lancashire areas of the United Kingdom. His working class background meant that he was uninterested in honors from the government and the monarchy, leading to him turning down an OBE, CBE, knighthood and the Companion of Honor.

John Cleese

John Cleese made his name as one of the greatest comedians in the world. He first made his name as part of the Monty Python group, which brought us films such as the Life of Brian, and later as Basil Faulty in Faulty Towers. For services to entertainment and British film he was offered the chance to become a Lord through a life peerage and to become a knight of the realm. However, he refused both saying that the honors were “silly.”