Rod Stewart has promised Queen Elizabeth II he will wear his knighthood well after leading the British monarch’s 90th Birthday Honours list.
The 71-year-old’s honour for services to music and charity was revealed on Friday, hours after the Queen attended a service at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate her age milestone in April, and the Maggie May hitmaker is delighted he will be able to place ‘Sir’ in front of his name from now on.
“I’ve led a wonderful life and have had a tremendous career thanks to the generous support of the great British public,” he said in a statement. “This monumental honour has topped it off and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I thank Her Majesty and promise to ‘wear it well’.”
The accolade has been a long time coming for Rod, who admitted to feeling snubbed over his lack of knighthood in 2013, especially as many of his musical peers had already been recognised, including Tom Jones and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
“Mick doesn’t pay taxes here (in Britain) and Tom lives in America,” he moaned to Radio Times. “If my time comes, it will. If it doesn’t, I’m not bothered.”
But, announcing the happy news on Friday on stage in front of a sold out crowd of 27,000 people in Southampton, England as part of his current tour, Rod clearly was bothered about receiving such a privilege from the British monarch.
“So it’s 10.30 and I have the great pleasure of being able to tell you now, in this hour, that your old mate up here has been knighted by Her Majesty The Queen,” he beamed. “It’s all down to you guys, thank you so much! You’ve made me who I am.”
Rod went on to reveal he had already received congratulatory messages from fellow knights including Elton John, who received his honour in 1998.
“I had a funny text from Elton today: It said ‘Congratulations darling, who would have thought a couple of old tarts from North London would be knighted?'” he laughed. “Bless all of you, thank you.”
Rod’s career has spanned 50 years, with hits including Maggie May, Handbags and Gladrags and Sailing.
Meanwhile, others feted by the Queen on Friday include Dame Vera Lynn, who is recognised among the Companions of Honour in recognition of her services to entertainment and charity, and Downtown Abbey actress Penelope Wilton, who has been appointed a dame for her services to drama.
Actor Brian Blessed and TV presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, known as Ant and Dec, have also been made Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)