New Year Honours and the stars who have turned them down – and why

The New Year Honors List has been unveiled, with appreciation for people from sports stars to politicians and heroes of the Covid pandemic.

The honors are given by the Queen or on behalf of the Queen to individuals with outstanding achievements in their field or community.

This year’s winners include Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, deputy Jonathan Van-Tam, Olympic cyclists Laura and Jason Kenny, James Bond actor Daniel Craig and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Although the Queen can bestow an honor, it is up to each individual whether or not to accept it, My London Reports.

And a number of big names have turned them down in the past, speaking openly about their reasons for doing so.

Here are some of the popular names who turned down a gong:

David Bowie

The singer apparently turned down two honors, a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 and a knighthood three years later.

He told the Sun in 2003, the year Mick Jagger was knighted, “I would never mean to accept anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it is for. It’s not what I’ve worked for all my life.

“It’s not my job to judge Jagger, it’s his decision. But it’s just not for me. “

Some of the Beatles

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney accepted the accolade, but his Beatle colleague George Harrison turned down an OBE a year before his death in 2001.

Journalist Ray Connolly, who knew the Beatles, said so Post on Sunday 2013: “Whoever decided to offer them the OBE and not the accolade was extremely insensitive. George would have felt offended – and for good reason. ”

The Beatles accepted MBEs in 1965 – but four years later John Lennon returned his honor.

ONE Apple spokesman , the Beatle firm, reportedly said John had sent identical letters to the Queen, Prime Minister and Central Chancellery saying his action was “in protest of Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra cause, our support America’s in Vietnam “. , and against the slipping of Cold Turkey in the charts. ”

Nigella Lawson

The chef and TV personality was offered an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2001 but apparently turned it down out of sheer modesty.

When asked why she didn’t want the title, the star reportedly said, “I don’t save lives and all I do is do something I absolutely love.”


The rapper, whose real name is Joseph Junior Adenuga, hinted in his song Hypocrisy that he had turned down an MBE for the 2017 New Year honors.

In the second verse, the grime artist raps: “I just got back from the Ivors / And look at what we’ve collected / The MBE has been rejected / I’m not trying to be accepted.”

Stephen Hawking

In 2008, the physicist is said to have said that he had been approached with an offer to be knighted at the end of the 1990s, but had turned it down.

French and Saunders

Comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders turned down OBEs in 2001, which Jennifer later explained Source magazine: “If I felt I deserved a lady, I would accept her.

“At the time we felt that 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 wrong to be by the side of people who really gave their lives to good causes. “

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