The Queen of England can’t get enough of Amagansett resident Sir Paul McCartney. She already knighted him back in 1997 when he was just 54 years old, and now 21 years later, she has officially inducted him into the Order of the Companions of Honour for his lifelong service to the music industry.
Each member of the Companions of Honour is selected for their most outstanding achievement in the Arts, science, politics, industry or religion at a national level. And although there have been hundreds of members since the Order’s inception in 1917, the number of living members is limited to 65 at any given point in time. McCartney currently stands as the 62nd surviving member, meaning the Queen could only appoint three more before one should regrettably pass away.
On Friday morning, Queen Elizabeth II gave McCartney the Riband and badge of the Companions of Honour at Buckingham Palace. His wife Nancy Shevell was present to witness the momentous occasion. After the ceremony, he told reporters, “I’m very, very proud. I love the Queen, and I’m very proud to be British on a day like this.” In a written statement to the Press Association he said, “I see this as a huge honor for me and my family, and I think of how proud my Liverpool mum and dad would have been to see this.”
McCartney received his award alongside Darcey Bussell, dancer and judge on Great Britain’s televised dance competition, Strictly Come Dancing. Bussell, however, was inducted into the Companions of Honour, rather the Queen opted to make her a dame to thank her for her 30-year service to the art of dance.
Bussell likened receiving her damehood to getting married saying, “It’s been a shock. It’s kind of like getting married, and you realize you’re suddenly here, and it’s nearly over.” She then followed up with a joke about getting Prince Harry to perform in her dance competition.