Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Sean Connery, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Elton John, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Paul McCartney. The list of famous actors, musicians, scientists and politicians who’ve been knighted by the Queen gets bigger every year.
Have you ever wondered though, what do people get when they earn this prestigious title? In other words, what are the perks of being knighted? Besides adding that cool “Sir” prefix in front of your name of course.
Well, wonder no more as this article will get you covered. But before we jump into the answer, here’s a brief introduction of the British Orders of Knighthood. (the article continues after the ad)
BRITISH ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD
The are various orders of chivalry in the United Kingdom:
- The Most Noble Order of the Garter
- The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle
- The Most Honourable Order of the Bath
- The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
- The Distinguished Service Order
- The Royal Victorian Order
- The Order of Merit
- The Imperial Service Order
- The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
- The Order of the Companions of Honour
For the majority of these Orders, the membership is limited by their statuses to the royal family. That being said, The Order of the Bath and The Order of the British Empire allow civilians to be admitted. The Order of the Bath’s grades (Knight/Dame, Knight/Dame Commander and Companion) are still largely offered to military personnel while The Order of the British Empire has two divisions: one for military service and one for civil service.
THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Founded by George V in 1917, this is the Order to which most public honors are admitted. In fact, the reason why George V founded this Order in the wake of World War I was because there wasn’t any specific order for appointing ordinary individuals for their general service to the nation in non-fighting roles.
So, now back to the main question: (the article continues after the ad)
DO YOU GET ANYTHING FOR BECOMING A KNIGHT?
Simply said, no. Other than the title that you get to carry throughout your life, there are no other tangible benefits for being knighted. Of course, receiving such an award from the Queen is a true legacy for the receiver and his family.
This “raised profile” benefit being the only benefit of knighthood is not just a modern times thing but it has always been this way. As noted by the Royal Collection Trust, the title in ancient times didn’t come with any kind of monetary benefit. In fact, the person granted the Knight title “would be expected to have the financial ability to support the honour of knighthood, so that he could provide himself with arms, armour, horses and the required number of armed followers to render military service to his Sovereign for a minimum period each year.”
And now you know!
If you like what you read then you will definitely love this one: Why The Military Salute Is Made This Way?
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Sources: A complete guide to the British Orders of Knighthood | How to get a Knighthood and Damehood | Do people who get knighted by the queen get anything for it? | The Knighting stool | The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire