LONDON – Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb, the only surviving member of the Bee Gees music group, as well as the ex-leader of the United Kingdom’s Liberal Democratic Party, Nick Clegg, all expressed their delight on Saturday at having been awarded the title of Knight by Queen Elizabeth II.
All became aware of their status after the publication of the British government’s New Year Honours List which recognizes the achievements of what it describes as extraordinary people from across the United Kingdom.
“It’s great! It’s an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love,” Ringo said. “Peace and love.”
Ringo, whose full name is Richard Starkey, was recognized for services to music, the list said, while Gibb, who was described as a singer, songwriter and record producer, was honored for services to music and charity.
Gibb said he felt “humbled and very proud” of the honor and added that “The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life.”
Ringo’s honor came 20 years after Paul McCartney was also made a Knight and adds to the MBE (Member of the British Empire) recognition received by all four Beatles at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace in 1965.
The Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles began their musical career and which is today owned by music promoter Bill Heckle, said the drummer’s knighthood was “long overdue.”
Also included in the Honours List was the novelist Michael Morpurgo, author of “War Horse,” and also election poll expert John Curtice.
Actor Hugh Laurie and former director of the British edition of Vogue magazine, Alexandra Shulman, were also on the list.
A total of 1,123 people, including celebrities and ordinary citizens, of whom less than half are women and 9.2 percent belong to ethnic minorities were also mentioned.