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Who would reject a Knighthood?

posted Mar 25, 2012, 12:41 PM by Graham William Hendrey
Author Roald Dahl and the artist Lucian Freud are among more than 250 people to have turned down honours from the Queen between 1951 and 1999, according to government documents released for the first time. The list, published by the Cabinet Office, is believed to be the first time that the hundreds who have snubbed accolades, including CBEs and knighthoods, has been officially confirmed.

It names a total of 277 individuals - but was only released after the Information Commissioner's Office ordered it. Painters Francis Bacon and LS Lowry, sculptor Henry Moore and novelist Aldous Huxley are also named in the list. Lowry turned down more honours than anybody else according to the information - snubbing them five times in total.

Among the titles he refused were an OBE in 1955, a CBE in 1961 and a knighthood in 1968.

Bacon turned down a CBE in 1960, while Freud refused the honour in the 1977 New Year's Honours list.
Dahl, who rejected an OBE in the 1986 New Year's Honours, was among a number of writers who snubbed the accolade including Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis, who turned down a CBE in 1952.
Film director Sir Alfred Hitchcock turned down a CBE in 1962, but went on to accept a knighthood from the Queen four months before his death in 1980.

Normally, the names of those who refuse honours would only emerge if they decided to make it public themselves.

Read more:


1. Top 10 People Who Declined Knighthood

2. Queen's honours: People who have turned them down

3. RBS boss Fred Goodwin stripped of knighthood

4. Buy yourself a title and swap the Mr for Baron