The lead guitarist of Queen just became a knight.
King Charles bestowed legendary rock and roll musician Brain May with the honor of Knight Bachelor on Tuesday during an investiture ceremony held at Buckingham Palace. May received the designation in celebration of everything he’s contributed to the world of music, as well as his charitable initiatives. The Queen band member shared the exciting news on his Instagram account, posting a photo of himself smiling as the monarch rests a sword on his shoulder. “No words!” he captioned the shot.
May was one of 1,100 people named on King Charles’s 2023 New Year Honours List, his first since taking the throne. Buckingham Palace announced that the guitarist would be honored in December 2022, and shortly after May told the Associated Press, “Maybe a few more people will listen to me than would otherwise, you know, if it’s Sir Brian on the phone,” adding that it will be nice to have “a little bit more clout” following the knighting ceremony. He added that his wife of 22 years, Anita Dobson, was also delighted at the prospect of being known henceforth as Lady May. “She’s thrilled to bits. Yes, yes, she’s very happy about that,” he said. “Yes, Lady Anita will be enjoying it, and it’s a thrill to me to be able to kind of confer that on her. It makes me feel proud that she gets an honor beside me because God knows I wouldn’t be here without her.”
The performer has been a longtime favorite of the royal family, previously performing at both Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee on the roof of Buckingham Palace in 2002, and again at her Platinum Jubilee 20 years later. He also got to meet the late queen personally at a reception held in 2005, along with fellow British guitar legends Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. In addition to being one of the biggest stars in rock and roll history, May has also been an outspoken advocate in condemning badger culling and fox hunting in the UK, establishing an animal welfare group called Save Me in 2010 named after one of Queen’s songs.
This investiture ceremony comes one day after King Charles celebrated Commonwealth Day, delivering an address from Westminster Abbey’s Great Pulpit that paid tribute to his late mother. “Commonwealth Day was an occasion of particular pride for my beloved Mother, The late Queen — a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family, to whose service she dedicated her long and remarkable life,” he said. “In succeeding Her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth, I draw great strength from her example, together with all that I have learnt from the extraordinary people I have met, throughout the Commonwealth, over so many years.” Charles continued, “The Commonwealth has been a constant in my own life, and yet its diversity continues to amaze and inspire me. Its near-boundless potential as a force for good in the world demands our highest ambition; its sheer scale challenges us to unite and be bold.”
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