Israeli media reported this week that the Israeli Embassy in London and Buckingham Palace are close to an agreement on having Queen Elizabeth confer honorary knighthood on Israeli President Shimon Peres when he visits the UK next month.
The appointment would make Peres a Knight Commander in the Order of St. Michael and St. George, a title usually reserved for British colonial affairs officials, foreign-service officers and high-ranking diplomats in Commonwealth countries.
However, the Queen has on numerous occasions appointed foreigners to the Order. Among some of the more famous are Bill Gates and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The honorary nature of the appointment means Peres would not be entitled to prefix “Sir” before his name.
Israeli Foreign Ministry sources cited by The Jerusalem Post warned that the Israeli media’s focus on the story could prevent Peres from being knighted during his upcoming visit, as opponents of the move will now try to scuttle it.
Peres would join a distinguished list of personalities granted the honour, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, U2 singer Bono, former French President Francois Mitterand, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.