Bono, a non-U.K. or Commonwealth citizen made KBE???

This story of Bono’s Knighthood came as a bit of a surprise to me.

Bono is neither a citizen of the U.K. nor is he a citizen of any British Commonwealth nation. The article addresses that fact merely to point out that he will not be addressed as “Sir”. Still, I was surprised to hear that the U.K. knights non-citizens at all.

How common is it for a non-citizen to be made a Knight or a Dame?

Bob Geldolf, Ronald Reagan, George Bush senior, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, Rudolph Giuliani, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg… Yup, it’s pretty common.

Frankly, it’s not that different from giving Tony Blair a Congressional Gold Medal. Or Sylvester Stallone getting the Légion d’honneur.

Also Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Carl Spaatz, Jimmy Doolittle, and Placido Domingo (whose contributions to winning WWII are often overshadowed by his later musical career).

The conductor Georg Solti was awarded an honourary KBE. Later, he became a naturalised British citizen, and then took the title ‘Sir’.

FWIW, my grandfather (an American) was knighted for his efforts at fighting smallpox in Tanganyika during the 1930s.