Brits: What do I have to do to get knighted? How would my life change once I did?

I’d get new stationery, I’m sure. But besides that: taxes, or simple things…any practical effects?

Also, it’s called the Queen’s Honors, or something? Not only for ex-Beatles, but for…what? If I’m the chief industrialist who secured England’s security in domestic production of pencil erasers, can I get one? It goes to captains of industry, but who?

And again, how? The politics must be interesting as well, I think.

The sort of people that become knights (or dames) are senior politicians, senior civil servants, people who do a lot of work leading charities, and your “captains of industry”, with a tendency to go more to those who support the currently governing political party (surprise, surprise!). I suspect that the only real change that you’d notice is that people will call you “Sir Leo” instead of “Mr Bloom”.

So there are no special tax breaks, or, for that matter, special additional ceremonial responsibilities? (“All Knights of grade three and above are required to present a live Mink to the reigning Monarch upon the coming of age of each Child…”)

I believe Leo is in the U.S., however. As an American citizen, he can be knighted, but the title is honorary. Legally, he cannot be referred to as “Sir,” although he can use the initials following his name.

For example, Bill Gates was named a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005. He is known as Bill Gates, KBE. If he were to renounce his U.S. citizenship and become a citizen of the UK, he would be allowed to call himself Sir Bill Gates.

No, nothing. Just the altered form of address (assuming you are British subject). Plus, in addition to you becoming “Sir Leo” , your wife becomes “Lady Bloom”.

If your wife is granted the honour, however, you get nuthin’.

You will now spend the rest of your life living up to the honor. It’s a heavy burden they say but those dubbed seem to be carrying the honor well.

I’m told that it helps to get you a good table in a restaurant.

As you might have gathered, becoming a ‘K’ is a big honour for those that get it, but not really such a big deal. If you got a peerage however, you would be able to go to the House of Lords and be part of the government.

Or the Opposition :wink:

(government doesn’t mean the legislature here, it means the Cabinet)

How many events in the UK still observe precedence?

Traditionally honours improved your chances of being seated at the grown-up table at formal events. That may not sound like much, but many backbencher politicians and senior civil servants are precisely the type who cares who they get to talk to at a banquet.

Court precedence? Only court events, I think. And unless you have some expectation of attending at court, I don’t see that court precedence is all that relevant to you. But, yes, as a knight you would go in to dinner ahead of a mere gentleman - after a baronet, but just ahead of the Recorder of London, should he happen to be present.

Perhaps you qualify for one directly from the Queen without getting involved in committees or industry or giving money to political parties.

Are you one of her senior aides?
Are you a member of her family? If not, would you consider marrying into the family? You might get one as an anniversary present eventually.
Are you a foreign monarch or close member of the family of a foreign monarch?
Do you have a grand title that needs adornment with something shiny?
Were you the prime minister? Of course, the last two haven’t gotten anything, so this may not be the meal ticket it once was. Edward Heath had to wait 18 years, though, so there’s still time.
Were you perhaps a very senior judge or general? Maybe even the cabinet secretary?

That’s overstating their rarity. All high court judges, of which there are currently 107 in office, get a knighthood or the female equivalent on appointment. Also, all permanent secretaries routinely get one after five years in office. A Cabinet Secretary who only got a knighthood would consider that a snub, as they now always get a life peerage as well on retirement.

Former Prime Ministers still get a life peerage if they ask for one. It is just that it has become fashionable for them not to do so. They will also invariably be offered the Garter or the Thistle, although sometimes they are made to wait.

Most knighthoods are given simply because the recipient holds a particular public office. And most people likely to encounter them professionally or socially know that.

Why, thank you very much for the offer!

So now the truth is known:
No longer limited to just fighting ignorance…the Dope now provides us the option of joining the royal family.

Hmm, yes, I forgot they all get normal knighthoods too.

Really everything the Queen doles out personally except to senior aides and her family seems to just get layered on top of something else, so if all you need is any knighthood she’s probably not able to help. Sorry.

What if the Queen felt personally beholden to someone and wanted to reward them with a knighthood? Say a British soldier performed an extremely brave action to save Prince Harry from death in combat. Apart from receiving the Victoria Cross, could that soldier be rewarded with a knighthood? Would this come directly from Her Majesty?

Round ones.

Nitpick: not all Ministers, who form the Government, attend Cabinet.

OP here. This has happened a couple times before–by using “I” in the OP, I meant “one.” I knew something interesting would appear about being a non-Brit and angling for one would be posted, but I’m actually more interested in the social…well, weirdness of the institution and it’s integration into a society. (Guess what ex-colony I’m coming from.)

So, really, would an industrialist or a big-ass cultural asset–how about scientists and saints, besides the actors and musicians I know of?–angle or campaign sub rosa (or super rosa) for one? Other people nominate you, like a Nobel?

Also, this interests me: I’ve seen actors yanking the chain of, oh whathisname, the guy from Ghandi and Schindler’s List, about what to call him, or Ian McKellen in Extras referring to himself as Sir Ian. In reality, you’re supposed to know the guy’s a knight (do they say that?) but not use it, unless you’re a waiter or something, or introducing him at a function? And if someone forgets, a major faux-pas?

I mean, Opra Winfrey has an honorary doctorate from somewhere, but I don’t think she’s asshole enough to accept being called Dr. Winfrey. Plus, again, as an American who finds this weird, Dr.s and Medal of Honor winners (who don’t even get a title) earned it rather than being, say, some politician who, frankly, often earns nothing more than his paycheck.

Also, by writing in OP “pencil-eraser” mover and shaker, who in industry usually gets it?

Are there lists, or parlor games, of most bizarre knightings–what the hell word do I use–like for strange or ironic Nobels?

Questions, questions.

A long time ago I wrote a letter to the queen asking her if she would come to my house for a visit and make me a knight. I got a letter back from a lady-in-waiting, hand-written on the nicest stationery I have ever seen, explaining that the queen appreciated my invitation but wouldn’t be able to visit. I still have the letter. :slight_smile:

Now that’s the most charming thing I’ve read in a long time! :slight_smile:

(And how old are you? Would the average British mother today let her child do that, --taking the letter to the post office, and actually expecting to receive an answer? I’m quessing that times have changed.)