In news that won’t disappoint fans of British royalty, Queen guitarist Brian May has been knighted in the New Year Honours by King Charles III. In an article from The Guardian, May is quoted as saying, “I regard it as a kind of charge, like a kind of commission to do the things that one would expect a knight to do: to fight for justice, to fight for people who don’t have any voice.”
He goes on to allude to his charity work as a campaigner for animal rights: “And, in my case, for all creatures who don’t have a voice, and I regard it as a kind of endorsement of what I do.”
“Sir Bri”: Queen guitarist Knighted in New Year Honours
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The Queen guitarist and songwriter also has a doctorate in astrophysics, which he completed at Imperial College, London, in 2007. He was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 2005 for services to the arts and charity. May signed off on Instagram as “Sir Bri”, but clarified that his official title is “Dr Sir Brian Harold May, CBE”.
May joins an illustrious list of beknighted musicians including Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and Bono (who is not a sir given his Irish nationality). David Bowie famously turned down both a CBE and a knighthood in 2000 and 2003 respectively. “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that,” he remarked, adding: “I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”