Irish rock star and global humanitarian Bono became a knight of the British empire today – just don’t call him ‘sir.’
“You have permission to call me anything you want – except sir, all right? Lord of lords, your demigodness, that’ll do,” Bono, 46, told reporters after he was crowned a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in a jokey, informal ceremony in the Dublin home of British Ambassador David Reddaway.
Reddaway paid tribute to Bono’s work as a savvy campaigner against poverty and disease in Africa – but first asked whether he was disappointed that becoming a knight no longer involves a sword or kneeling.
“Please, I wasn’t expecting you to kneel,” Bono deadpanned, his hand on the ambassador’s shoulder.
Accompanying Bono were his wife, Ali, and their four children, Jordan, 17; Eve, 15; Elijah, 7; and John, 5. Also attending the ceremony were U2 guitarist The Edge and bassist Adam Clayton, who unlike the other band members, is English-born and retains British citizenship.
Bono has been criticized in some Irish nationalist quarters for accepting a British honor. But the Dublin-born singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, dismissed this as ridiculous given the unprecedentedly warm relations today between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
“I think Great Britain is great,” Bono said. “And Irish people support British football
teams. And Irish bands sign British record labels. And Irish people speak English. And we even have one (Englishman) in our band.”
Congratulations to Bono!