Pete Tong ‘Humbled’ By Royal MBE Honour
Radio 1 star Pete Tong was awarded an MBE medal by Prince William at Buckingham Palace this week, ‘in recognition of his career in broadcasting and music.’
“There are so many worthy people here today, I feel quite humbled by all the servicemen, policemen and the charity workers and people like that,” the nowadays US based superstar DJ told the BBC, “”So I count myself lucky to be recognised in this way.” (BBC: http://bbc.in/1q1ltWl )
Soul 2 Soul star Jazzie B was similarly proud when he received an OBE in 2008 telling reporters ‘to be here at the palace was not in my dreams at all’.
“It is fantastic to be in this situation,” he added, “I’m going to get a really special place for this on my shelf”.
Notting Hill Carnival icon Norman Jay was also honoured by the Royals some years earlier earning him the sobriquet Sir Norman among some fans.
”It’s a nice nickname…it just stuck,” the Good Times legend told the Liverpool Echo on 2012 (in an interview marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations).
“”People are still quite fascinated with it (the MBE) and I am so lucky to be probably the only person from UK club culture to be bestowed with it.” (Echo: http://bit.ly/1hSuJs2 )
Counter-culture poet Benjamin Zephaniah took a markedly different stance when he was offered an OBE in 2003, explaining why he refused the honour in an incendiary article complaining about artists who accept them.
“There are many black writers who love OBEs, it makes them feel like they have made it. When it suits them, they embrace the struggle against the ruling class and the oppression they visit upon us, but then they join the oppressors’ club,” he suggested.
“They are so easily seduced into the great house of Babylon known as the palace. For them, a wonderful time is meeting the Queen and bowing before her presence,” he complained.
“I’ve never heard of a holder of the OBE openly criticising the monarchy. They are officially friends,” he added. (Guardian: http://bit.ly/1dyo4Sq )
John Lennon also famously got his chauffeur to return his MBE to Buckingham Palace as a protest against the Vietnam War in 1969.
“Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing (and) against our support of America in Vietnam,” the Beatle explained in a hand written letter also delivered to the Queen, then Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and the secretary of the Central Chancery.
“And against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts,” he added.
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff