Celebrities who turned down titles from the Queen – and why they turned them down

Receiving the honor from the Queen is considered by many to be the pinnacle of their lives – but others want nothing to do with it.

NHS heroes, sports stars and community champions were presented with gongs in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honors.

Most famous faces dream of the day when they will bow or curse before the royal family while their subversive achievements are recognized.

However, some celebrities have actually turned down the opportunity when given it or even handed back their titles.

From feeling unworthy to feeling offended by what they were offered, there are many reasons why people have turned them down over the years.

Here are the stars who said ‘no thanks’ when receiving the honor.

David Bowie

David Bowie says ‘no’


Nice pictures)

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The late David Bowie actually turned down two titles.

He refused to accept a CBE in 2000 and three years later refused to be knighted.

“I would never have intended to receive anything like that,” he said. I really don’t know what it’s for. It’s not something I’ve spent my life working on.”

Bowie did not join a list of musical knights that included Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John.

When asked about fellow rocker Jagger accepting the honor, he said: “It’s not my place to judge Jagger, it’s his decision. But it’s not for me. ”

But he declined to discuss whether he was anti-monarchy, as he was living in the US at the time, where he sadly passed away in 2016.

John Lennon

John Lennon has returned his MBE

Beatles legend John Lennon sent back his MBE to protest Britain’s entry into the Nigerian Civil War in 1966.

He felt uncomfortable accepting the honor in cases where it appeared he approved of the establishment.

Along with the medal, he sent the Queen a letter that read: “Your Majesty, I return this letter to protest Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra affair, against our support. against the US in Vietnam and against the cold Turkish slide down the rankings.

“With Love, John Lennon of Bag.”

His MBE medal remained in the treasury of the Royal Department of Premiers, but his title remained until his tragic death in 1980.

The rules state that “an individual may decide to give up their honor voluntarily” but they “will remain honorable unless or until HM Queen revokes that honor”.

George Harrison

The Beatles with their MBE in 1965



Meanwhile, bandmate George Harrison was unhappy when Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997.

Harrison is said to have been ‘humiliated’ by rejection, for always resenting being in McCartney and Lennon’s shadow.

In 2013, Cabinet Office papers revealed that Harrison turned down the OBE after Paul was knighted because of its lower status.

Friend Roy Connolly said: “Whoever decided to give him an OBE and not a knight was extremely sensitive. Daily mail.

“George would be offended – and with good reason.”

The OBE has been recommended by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports in recognition of Harrison’s significant contribution to the music industry.

It read: “He is part of a band that many will say is the greatest thing Britain has ever produced, and possibly the best in the world, The Beatles.”

French and Saunders

French and Saunders do not accept


Gold / UKTV)

Comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders turned down the OBE “to move into comedy” in 2001.

When they explained why later down the line, Saunders said, “If I feel like I deserve the Title of Honor, I’ll accept it,” she told Source magazine.

“At that time, we felt that we were paid very well to have a lot of fun. It doesn’t seem right somehow.

“We don’t deserve to be patted. It feels a bit artificial to stand next to people who have dedicated their lives to truly worthy causes. ”

Stephen Hawking

Stephen refuses to be knighted



In 2008, genius Stephen Hawking said he was offered a knighthood in the late 1990s but turned it down.

It was then said that it was because the government had to deal with the cuts and funding of science.

Jon Snow

Snow doesn’t want the prize



Having turned down OBE in 2000, Channel 4 News host Jon Snow went on to make a documentary in 2002 titled ‘Secrets of the Honor System’.

He still criticizes the use of ‘Empire’ in our honor system.

“I was trying to figure out why I was given it and couldn’t get a definite answer or really to find out who proposed to me,” he said afterward.

Michael Sheen

Sheen doesn’t want to be a hypocrite

Welsh actor Michael Sheen, who was awarded the OBE in 2009, handed it back years later.

The star was awarded the title in the 2009 New Year’s Honors for his television appearances, but he spoke about how he came back a few years later because he didn’t want to be a “moral”. fake”.

In an interview with journalist Owen Jones, the Underworld actor said that he changed his mind about the title when he started studying Welsh history.

This happened when he was invited to speak at the Institute for Study and Work’s annual Raymond Williams Memorial Lecture – held in partnership with the Open University in Wales in 2017.

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

He added: “I just realized that I would be a hypocrite if I said what I was going to say in the lecture about the nature of the relationship between Wales and the British canton.”

Nigella Lawson

Nigella didn’t eat it


BBC / Jay Brookes)

The celebrity chef turned down an OBE offer in 2001.

The TV star, known for his hilarious puns, explains: “I don’t save lives and I do nothing but do what I absolutely love.”


Skepta doesn’t want one



Tottenham native Skepta – whose real name is Joseph Junior Adenuga – says he turned down an MBE for the 2017 New Year’s Title.

He dropped the bomb on his song Hypocrisy.

In the second sentence of Hypocrisy, the artist irritably raps: “Just got back from Ivors / And look what we gathered / MBE got rejected / I’m not trying to be accepted.”

John Cleese

John Cleese says it’s all ‘silly’


Dave J Hogan / Getty Images)

The Monty Python star was offered the CBE in 1996 but turned it down because he said they were “silly”.

He turned down several offers, including a high-profile show by Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown in 1999.

H refused because he felt that staying in England during the winter months to fulfill the role of a working colleague was “too much of a price to pay” to sit in the Lords.

He told The Sunday Telegraph it was offered “not because I’m such a wonderful human being, and because I helped them. [Lib Dems] much”.

Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle refuses an honor


Getty Images for Universal Pictu)

Danny says it’s not for him

Danny Boyle, the director and man behind the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, declined the honor, saying it was “the wrong thing to do”.

“That’s not me,” he said. He added thousands of people took part in the performance of the ceremony.

“You can make speeches about ‘this is everyone’s job, blah blah blah,’” he says.

“And you have to mean it, and I mean it too, and it’s true, and that’s the only way you can continue to do so: through everyone’s efforts.

“I don’t know if I will be invited back to the Palace or not.”

Roald Dahl

Road Dahl is a much loved author


Nice pictures)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl turned down the OBE in the 1986 New Year’s Honors.

It is said that he was hoping to be knighted instead of raising his status to “Sir” and his wife to “Lady Dahl”.

Tragically, the much-loved author passed away without any honors in 1990.

Other Famous Faces Rejected Birthday Titles

  • CS Lewis, writer (born 1963), rejected CBE in 1952
  • Graham Greene, writer (born 1991) rejected CBE in 1956
  • JB Priestley, writer (born 1984), turned away from scrutiny in 1965 and Honorary Companion in 1969
  • Francis Bacon, artist (born 1992) rejected CBE in 1960
  • Robert Graves, poet (born 1985) rejected CBE in 1957, and CH in 1984
  • CS Forester, writer (born 1966) rejected CBE in 1953
  • Eleanor Farjeon, author (born 1965) rejected OBE in 1959
  • John Ireland, composer (died 1962), rejected CBE in 1959
  • Major Derek Allhusen, Olympic medalist in equestrianism (2000), declined MBE in 1969
  • Albert Finney turned down CBE in 1980 and knighted in 2000

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