The world of royal titles is a bit confusing, probably even for the royals themselves. “What do you mean I’m not a Princess?” — Meghan Markle. Even non-royals get honorary titles these days, and it has nothing to do with their heritage. Every year, the Queen doles out accolades to some very well known pop culture icons.
According to the Royal website:
One of the best-known systems for celebrating achievement is the awarding of UK honours such as MBEs and knighthoods, as well as military awards such as the Victoria Cross.
Honours are decided and announced by the Cabinet Office twice a year: at New Year and on The Queen’s official birthday in June. They are then presented to recipients by members of the Royal Family throughout the year at ceremonies known as ‘Investitures’.
The UK honours system rewards people for merit, service or bravery. Honours are given to deserving and high-achieving people from every section of life: from soldiers to community volunteers, performers and leaders of industry.
Types of honors and awards include: Companion of Honour, Knight or Dame, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), British Empire Medal (BEM), and Royal Victorian Order (RVO).
While that may be confusing, there are lots of familiar faces who have been honored with these titles. Here are 7 of our favorites.
Adele received the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2013. Translation? Her royal name is Miss Adele Adkins MBE. This award is given to reward chivalry, charity work, and public service. She received the medal from Prince Charles himself.
Elba was appointed an Officer of thein 2014 for his services to drama. Yep. His looks had nothing to do with it.
Flying the East End flag at Buckingham Palace today!!! OBE Day….. How does the boy look?
Feeling Proppa…:) pic.twitter.com/rnlNjZjgSi
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 11, 2016
The former Mrs. Pitt received the title of Honorary Dame (a way better title) from Queen Elizabeth II in 2014 for her work on efforts to end sexual violence in war zones.
What’s the better title: billionaire or Knight? The Microsoft founder was awarded honorary knighthood in 2005 for his work through the Gates Foundation, which focuses on healthcare in developing countries.
Hello from Tanzania, Instagram! I just had a great lunch with some amazing kids at Kicheba Primary School in Muheza and met Upendo Mwingira, a remarkable physician who has dedicated her career to fighting neglected tropical diseases. Melinda and I have been coming to Tanzania for many years now. I always love seeing how much progress the country has made to improve health and provide opportunity. Plus, the scenery is stunning. Whenever I travel to places like this, I wish others could come along and meet the people I get to meet. I have no doubt it would leave them as optimistic as I am about progress happening around the world. I’ll be sharing photos from my adventures here on Instagram, and I hope you’ll follow along.
In 2003, Beckham was named Officer of theby . Outside of his soccer superstar status, he is a longtime supporter of UNICEF and other children’s healthcare causes. His wife Victoria Beckham (aka Post Spice) was appointed an in 2017 for her services to the fashion industry.
The Harry Potter author is also known as Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a title she was awarded in 2001 for her contribution to children’s literature.
The Rolling Stones frontman was granted knighthood in 2003 for his service to pop music, nominated by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.
For lots more celebs with honorary royal titles, head to Harper’s Bazaar.