How Do You Become a Knight?


Quick Answer

United Kingdom citizens are usually nominated for the honor of knighthood, or damehood, by someone in public or government life. Members of the Cabinet Office select those to be knighted from all of the submissions received. Knighthoods are conferred upon British subjects by a member of the Royal Family.

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Full Answer

Individuals chosen to receive a knighthood honor usually have notable achievements in areas such as business, science, public service and entertainment. Exceptional members of the clergy are also sometimes knighted, but do not use the "Sir" title. Anyone who has made a significant contribution to society can be considered for knighthood. On occasion, a foreigner is awarded an honorary knighthood. Unlike British knights, Americans knighted by the Royal Family use the letters KBE to denote knighthood but do not use "Sir" as a title.

While it is not possible to purchase a knighthood honor, there are services that provide knighthood nomination assistance for a fee. The use of these services is done in secrecy to avoid the appearance of buying the distinction. In addition, many supporters of British tradition frown upon the use of such services. However, for people with distinguished careers, a nomination service may be helpful in creating a knighthood application that results in an actual knighthood honor.

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