Queen Elizabeth knights Ringo Starr, Barry Gibb

Ringo Starr is the second member of The Beatles to become a knight. File Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI

Dec. 30 (UPI) — British Queen Elizabeth II awarded knighthoods to rockers Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb on Friday among the hundreds of honors she’s giving for the new year.

Starr, born Richard Starkey, is the second member of The Beatles to become a knight. Paul McCartney was knighted in a ceremony in 1997. John Lennon returned his honor as Member of the Order of the British Empire.

“It’s great!” Ringo said in a statement reported by E! News. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love. Ringo.”

Barry Gibb and his late brothers, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, was granted the title Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2002. The surviving brother can now add a new title.

“It is as much theirs as it is mine,” Barry Gibb said of the new honor in a statement published by BBC News. “The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life.”

The queen conferred the female equivalent of the title of knight — dame — on Darcey Bussell, a retired ballerina and a judge of the reality dancing show, Strictly Come Dancing.

Other newly minted knights include former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.

House star Hugh Laurie, actor Susan Hampshire and researcher Demis Hassabis become Commanders of the British Empire. Former astronaut Helen Sharman receives the honor of Order of St. Michael and St. George.

All told, 1,123 people will receive New Year’s honors.


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