Oscar-winning Star Wars composer John Williams has joined former Disney CEO Bob Iger to become one of the two final honorary knighthoods the Queen conferred before her death aged 96 on September 8.
The news was revealed on Friday by the UK Government’s official website, which stated that Her Majesty had approved all of the honorary British awards to foreign nationals earlier this year.
Williams and Iger have both been granted KBEs, making them known now, more formally, as Knight Commanders of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
Honorary knighthoods are appointed to citizens of nations where the monarch is not head of state, permitting use of post-nominal letters (KBE) but not the title of Sir or Dame.
Williams, who has earned a staggering 52 Oscar nominations throughout the course of his career so far, and is best known for the music he wrote for films like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, was given his distinction for services to film music.
Iger, who served as chairman and CEO of Disney for 15 years from 2005 to 2020, received his for services to UK/US relations.
During his time in charge at the company, he led Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm – the production company behind Star Wars and Indian Jones – as well as expanding the company’s parks in Asia with the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort in 2005 and 2016.
The businessman wrote on Twitter: ‘It is one of the great honours of my life to have the honorary Knight of the British Empire conferred on me by Queen Elizabeth II before she passed.
‘I have great affection for the people of the UK & have always appreciated and been inspired by their extraordinary contributions.’
Referencing his fellow KBE, he added: ‘And special congratulations to John Williams. It is an honour for me to join him as an Honorary Knight! I have always been in awe of his work. May the force be with him!’
On the list of the Queen’s final approved honours, there were also honorary CBEs, MBEs and OBEs among other awards, as she recognised non-British diplomats, scientists, educators and healthcare workers.
Williams is currently working away on the score for the Indiana Jones 5, starring Harrison Jones once more, revealing in August that he was about 30% done.
Having celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year, the musical maestro also said that he would ‘love’ to compose the music for a film in theJames Bond franchise.
The living legend has scored so much of cinema history already, who wouldn’t want to see (or hear) that happen for the next Bond movie?
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