The Queen’s New Year Honours list has been announced, leaving scores of recipients beaming with pride. But not everyone has queued up to bow to the system…
Perhaps surprisingly for the daughter of a life peer, Nigella Lawson declined an OBE. “I’m not saving lives,” the celebrity chef explained
The beloved children’s author turned down an OBE, supposedly because he was holding out for a knighthood instead, but he died in 1990 without ever receiving one.
The Beatle returned the MBE he had been created in 1965 as a protest against Britain’s involvement in “the Nigeria-Biafra thing” and its support of the US in Vietnam and against “Cold Turkey” slipping down the charts.
The Mancunian painter holds the record for refusing the most state honours. In total he turned down five awards, including a knighthood, between 1955 and 1976.
Mr Zephaniah made headlines when he revealed why he had snubbed the Establishment. “OBE, me? Up yours, I thought,” the poet said.
She declined a CBE in 1996 but accepted a damehood in 2003 for services to the performing arts, three years before she won an Oscar for her turn as the Queen in the film of the same title.