Twenty-one years after Paul McCartney was knighted by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, his band mate and drummer, Ringo Starr, will be dubbed Sir Richard Starkey on the Queen’s official birthday in June of 2018.
Starr is one of a list of celebrated Brits chosen for knighthood and other honors bestowed upon the masses by the monarch.
Sir Paul took to twitter last week to congratulate his “best drummer and best pal.”
The honors list, released last week included Barry Gibb and Hugh Laurie as knighthood recipients.
The process in modern times starts with nominations from the public which are reviewed by a special committee. Then the list lands on the Prime Minister’s desk before they are sent to the Queen.
Knighthood today honors those who have contributed to the United Kingdom’s success, honor, and heritage. It’s a pretty big deal!
The idea of knighthood goes back to Roman times when there was a group of noble mounted warriors, which over time developed into to a class of military men. There were knights in Germanic ruled Europe as well as France. The French turned it into an art form as such. When Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad (the ISIS of his day) he did it with a mounted infantry populated by elite combat warriors who rode into battle but dismounted to fight.
Literature and Hollywood have painted a picture in the public’s mind of the medieval knight, armor clad and on horseback sweeping in to free the fettered female of yore.
Sometime in the 12th century, knighthood became a social rank. There were two types; non noble cavalrymen and noble cavalrymen, and in those two categories there were levels.
There were the Knights of the Crusades, Knights Templar, paladin, Teutonic Knights; the list is endless.
The knights of the middle ages gave us chivalry with all its rules and regulations.
The 15th century brought the decline of knighthood. Sure, sure there were still knights, but the idea of a liege servant to a ruler was replaced by the reality of paid, standing armies made UP of professional military men who were more easily and better trained as well as easier to mobilize.
And of course, the invention of high powered firearms made armor obsolete.
But the title didn’t go away, it actually gained more meaning. In Britain, a Knight was someone whose behavior brought pride and glory to the empire.
It was and is a big deal, a great honor, an honor bestowed upon the aristocracy as well as a commoner who’d done the nation proud.
In the United Kingdom knighthoods area awarded for achievement in art, entertainment, political or governmental, diplomatic, military, business achievements, and humanitarian reasons.
So, Congratulations, Sir Ringo, it’s long overdue.
OH, and Happy Birthday to Carrie Ann Inaba. Someone’s hitting the big 5-0 today!