South O’ the Highway

Ralph Lauren Named the Queen’s Newest Honorary Knight Commander

Though it's not enough to earn him the title of "Sir."

It’s time to add knighthood to Ralph Lauren’s ever-growing list of accomplishments—right after celebrating 50 years in business and throwing the first pitch at a Yankee’s game. 2018 has been a whirlwind year for the beloved fashion icon.

On November 14, WWD reported that the Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II has declared the Montauk resident an honorary knight. His name is already well received in Great Britain as members of the royal family, such as Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have been seen wearing the brand.

While past Americans like, Angelina Jolie and East Hampton’s Steven Spielberg have become honorary knights, this will be the first time an American fashion designer will receive such an honor. Antony Phillipson, British Consul General to New York and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America, says the award will recognize Lauren’s role in “forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections.”

Phillipson continues, “As creator and visionary of the Ralph Lauren brand worldwide, Mr. Lauren has been a vanguard for the global fashion industry and American style for nearly half a century. In addition, monumental philanthropic efforts, especially in the realm of public health, cancer research and treatment in both the U.S. and the U.K., have led to benefits felt by citizens around the world.”

Forbes writes, that Lauren has received mass accolades in his 50-year career, including the Key to the City of New York from former mayor Michael Bloomberg, the French Chevalier de La Legion d’Honneur and the British Fashion Award.

This wouldn’t be the first time the royal family has recognized him for his philanthropic work. In 1996, Princess Diana attended a fundraising event for the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, which Lauren co-founded with the late Washington Post Company president Katharine Graham.

Lauren’s other philanthropic efforts include founding Ralph Lauren Centers for Cancer Care in Harlem and at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Even his 50th anniversary celebration was a benefit for the Central Park Conservancy.

As an American citizen, Lauren’s knighthood will not grant him the title of “Sir,” as it did for Amagansett’s Sir Paul McCartney, but he may use KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) after his name if he so wishes. The insignia will be presented to him by a representative of the Queen next year.

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