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I just noticed that Carol had already answered the Honours List question.👍

On the refusal of honours, many have refused. I seem to recall John Lennon turning one down (or am I imagining it?)

We also have the Peerage system of course. In order of importance these are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron (with Duchess, Baroness etc of course) After the war Churchill was offered the Dukedom Of London but turned it down as it would have meant that he couldn’t have sat in the House Of Commons but would have had to have sat in The House Of Lords. The Commons is where the elected MP’s sit (government and opposition) so this would have meant Churchill giving up the Leadership of the Conservative Party and therefore all hope of ever being PM again (which he eventually was of course) 

It used to be impossible to relinquish a title until a Socialist Labour politician called Anthony Wedgwood Benn came along. When his father died he inherited a title (Viscount Stansgate) which meant that he was no longer allowed to sit in the Commons. He fought this and it led to The Peerage Reform Act 1963. He renounced his title (even shortening his name to the less posh Tony Benn.)

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5 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

On the refusal of honours, many have refused. I seem to recall John Lennon turning one down (or am I imagining it?)

I've heard of people refusing, and Lennon may well have been one.  But is it a significant percentage?

Added:  Lennon did not refuse his MBE.  He later returned his medal to the Queen, but there's no protocol for renouncing one's honours, so he's still an MBE.  [link]

5 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

In order of importance these are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron (with Duchess, Baroness etc of course)

How is Marquess pronounced?  I'm guessing it's the British equivalent of Marquis?  And is that why it ends in "-ess" even though it's a male title?

5 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

After the war Churchill was offered the Dukedom Of London but turned it down as it would have meant that he couldn’t have sat in the House Of Commons but would have had to have sat in The House Of Lords. The Commons is where the elected MP’s sit (government and opposition) so this would have meant Churchill giving up the Leadership of the Conservative Party and therefore all hope of ever being PM again ....

Was there any indication that the offer might have been politically motivated, with just that outcome in mind?

 

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Thanks Carol and Herlock. I'd heard of that kind of thing, but never heard the term "New Year's Honours List" before.

Seems to me Brett deserved something, his portrayal of Holmes had a BIG  impact on future productions, imho. So it goes, I guess.

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17 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I've heard of people refusing, and Lennon may well have been one.  But is it a significant percentage?

Added:  Lennon did not refuse his MBE.  He later returned his medal to the Queen, but there's no protocol for renouncing one's honours, so he's still an MBE.  [link]

How is Marquess pronounced?  I'm guessing it's the British equivalent of Marquis?  And is that why it ends in "-ess" even though it's a male title?

Was there any indication that the offer might have been politically motivated, with just that outcome in mind?

 

Hi Carol,

Marquess is pronounces Mar Kwus.

Thanks for clarifying about John Lennon. I couldn’t recall the details. 
 

On the refusal of honours. I didn’t know but I’ve looked it up and found that over the last 10 years it goes from 1.25% to 2.7%. 
 

The lowest umber of honours offered was 1,987 in 2011. The highest being 2,504 in 2020. If we averaged the out over the last 10 years I’m guessing that it would be 2.200-2,300 offered per year with around 2% being rejected.

My Knighthood must have been lost in the Post.🙁

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6 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

Hi Carol,

Marquess is pronounces Mar Kwus.

Thanks for clarifying about John Lennon. I couldn’t recall the details. 
 

On the refusal of honours. I didn’t know but I’ve looked it up and found that over the last 10 years it goes from 1.25% to 2.7%. 
 

The lowest umber of honours offered was 1,987 in 2011. The highest being 2,504 in 2020. If we averaged the out over the last 10 years I’m guessing that it would be 2.200-2,300 offered per year with around 2% being rejected.

My Knighthood must have been lost in the Post.🙁

If we anoint thee Sir Herlock of Sholmes, will that make you feel better?  :)

I was surprised at the number of Americans who have received honors from Her Majesty.  I can understand giving honorary titles to the American Presidents, but . . Ralph Lauren?  If honors can be passed out like candy to American pop culture figures, then it was a grievous oversight that Mr. Brett, one of the finest stage and screen actors the UK has ever produced, not to mention, the definitive Holmes, a British icon if ever there was one, was never recognized for his contributions to the performing arts.  Had he lived longer and continued in better health, he may have gotten his KBE--but if Kenneth Branagh could be made a KBE when he was only 50 . . . I'd say Jeremy Brett had done as much for British acting by that age as Ken had, and in the classical milieu as well.

The theatre world is rife with homosexuality so it wasn't JB's sexuality that would have excluded him; do we suppose he might have been discriminated against due to his mental illness?   That is not terribly rare in the theatrical world, either.  Those same qualities which make performers so dynamic, charismatic and fearless in the pursuit of entertaining audiences are very often the flip side to bipolar disorder.  A great many American child stars who grew up on Disney and Nickelodeon and went on to stratospheric fame as adult performers are in fact bipolar--Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato, Amanda Bynes--to name just a few that have had highly public mental breakdowns in recent years.   Jeremy was not alone in suffering from this disease in his profession.  Show business  attracts a disproportionate number of the mentally afflicted, I think, because of the nature of it:  Performers have to be tight-rope walkers, performing without a net for audiences, and chameleons, becoming different characters, sometimes within the same production.  Those who love the thrill of danger and of being the center of attention gravitate to performing, but the same qualities that make them gifted and exciting to watch are facets of their illness and not conducive to a calm and measured approach to life that promotes good mental health and well-being.  The erratic hours, too many parties, too much indulgence of things that are not good for one just make any underlying mental conditions worse.  Somebody with mental health challenges needs a steady routine, healthy diet, regular hours, exercise, low stress, calm.  Supportive friends who advocate for healthy living and who aren't always in constant professional competition with one.  In short, the opposite of how an actor or other show business type lives--particularly if he or she is famous.

Wiki has a really exhaustive list of persons who have refused a Royal honor of any sort.  Surprised to find Rudyard Kipling on this list.  Has there been a British author who championed British Empire more?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_declined_a_British_honour

The most high-profile refusal of a knighthood from the Queen would have to be Peter O'Toole, who was protesting on political grounds, being from Northern Ireland.  I think it is pretty well de rigueur to do so.  But here's a list of 11 others who have done the same.

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/29904/10-famous-people-who-turned-down-knighthood

Mysecond favorite knighthood story is probably apocryphal and is more like a cosplay knighthood.

It was several years ago now that singer Ed Sheeran appeared doing the rounds of talk shows with a visible cut on his face.  He had an entertaining anecdote about how he got the injury.  While attending a raucous party with Princess Beatrice of York in attendance, the duo were horsing around with a decorative ceremonial sword that got taken down off the wall and used by Princess Bea in a mock knighting ceremony of Sir Edward, Lord of Sheeran.  Everyone concerned was well-lit and Ed claims that the sword slipped and Bea accidentally cut his face.  There actually is a photo of a giggling PB holding a sword and Ed kneeling on the ground in front of her.

Fellow party guest, singer James Blunt, being a more mature (and sober) man saw what happened and refutes this version of events.  Yes, there was a mock knighting, apparently but Ed actually got the cut on his face when he fell face first drunk into a coffee table and cut himself on an object on the table, whether bottle opener, bottle cap, ashtray or other.  James didn't seem terribly impressed with Ed's state of inebriation and probably didn't care to have Princess Beatrice unfairly blamed for nearly putting Ed's eye out.

First place favorite knighthood was seeing Sir Rod of the Stewart receive his KBE from Prince William.  Both gentlemen were absolutely tickled to be there.  Hard to tell who was fan-boying more.  Pretty large moment for William, too, I imagine.  This was probably one of the first times he was deployed to stand in for Granny in this manner.  

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Hikari said:

I was surprised at the number of Americans who have received honors from Her Majesty.  I can understand giving honorary titles to the American Presidents, but . . Ralph Lauren?

Interesting.  I was under the impression that the American government didn't allow its citizens to accept foreign titles.  Maybe that applies only to things like dukedoms, though, and not to honorary titles.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

it was a grievous oversight that Mr. Brett, one of the finest stage and screen actors the UK has ever produced, not to mention, the definitive Holmes, a British icon if ever there was one, was never recognized for his contributions to the performing arts.

I'm a mere casual observer of such things, but it's my impression that when members of the entertainment industry are honored, there's generally a more serious reason given as well, usually charitable activities.  This may have been even more the case back in Brett's day.  Perhaps that's where he fell short, and his career didn't quite make the grade on its own until it was too late.

 

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2 hours ago, Hikari said:

If we anoint thee Sir Herlock of Sholmes, will that make you feel better?  :)

I was surprised at the number of Americans who have received honors from Her Majesty.  I can understand giving honorary titles to the American Presidents, but . . Ralph Lauren?  If honors can be passed out like candy to American pop culture figures, then it was a grievous oversight that Mr. Brett, one of the finest stage and screen actors the UK has ever produced, not to mention, the definitive Holmes, a British icon if ever there was one, was never recognized for his contributions to the performing arts.  Had he lived longer and continued in better health, he may have gotten his KBE--but if Kenneth Branagh could be made a KBE when he was only 50 . . . I'd say Jeremy Brett had done as much for British acting by that age as Ken had, and in the classical milieu as well.

The theatre world is rife with homosexuality so it wasn't JB's sexuality that would have excluded him; do we suppose he might have been discriminated against due to his mental illness?   That is not terribly rare in the theatrical world, either.  Those same qualities which make performers so dynamic, charismatic and fearless in the pursuit of entertaining audiences are very often the flip side to bipolar disorder.  A great many American child stars who grew up on Disney and Nickelodeon and went on to stratospheric fame as adult performers are in fact bipolar--Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato, Amanda Bynes--to name just a few that have had highly public mental breakdowns in recent years.   Jeremy was not alone in suffering from this disease in his profession.  Show business  attracts a disproportionate number of the mentally afflicted, I think, because of the nature of it:  Performers have to be tight-rope walkers, performing without a net for audiences, and chameleons, becoming different characters, sometimes within the same production.  Those who love the thrill of danger and of being the center of attention gravitate to performing, but the same qualities that make them gifted and exciting to watch are facets of their illness and not conducive to a calm and measured approach to life that promotes good mental health and well-being.  The erratic hours, too many parties, too much indulgence of things that are not good for one just make any underlying mental conditions worse.  Somebody with mental health challenges needs a steady routine, healthy diet, regular hours, exercise, low stress, calm.  Supportive friends who advocate for healthy living and who aren't always in constant professional competition with one.  In short, the opposite of how an actor or other show business type lives--particularly if he or she is famous.

Wiki has a really exhaustive list of persons who have refused a Royal honor of any sort.  Surprised to find Rudyard Kipling on this list.  Has there been a British author who championed British Empire more?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_declined_a_British_honour

The most high-profile refusal of a knighthood from the Queen would have to be Peter O'Toole, who was protesting on political grounds, being from Northern Ireland.  I think it is pretty well de rigueur to do so.  But here's a list of 11 others who have done the same.

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/29904/10-famous-people-who-turned-down-knighthood

Mysecond favorite knighthood story is probably apocryphal and is more like a cosplay knighthood.

It was several years ago now that singer Ed Sheeran appeared doing the rounds of talk shows with a visible cut on his face.  He had an entertaining anecdote about how he got the injury.  While attending a raucous party with Princess Beatrice of York in attendance, the duo were horsing around with a decorative ceremonial sword that got taken down off the wall and used by Princess Bea in a mock knighting ceremony of Sir Edward, Lord of Sheeran.  Everyone concerned was well-lit and Ed claims that the sword slipped and Bea accidentally cut his face.  There actually is a photo of a giggling PB holding a sword and Ed kneeling on the ground in front of her.

Fellow party guest, singer James Blunt, being a more mature (and sober) man saw what happened and refutes this version of events.  Yes, there was a mock knighting, apparently but Ed actually got the cut on his face when he fell face first drunk into a coffee table and cut himself on an object on the table, whether bottle opener, bottle cap, ashtray or other.  James didn't seem terribly impressed with Ed's state of inebriation and probably didn't care to have Princess Beatrice unfairly blamed for nearly putting Ed's eye out.

First place favorite knighthood was seeing Sir Rod of the Stewart receive his KBE from Prince William.  Both gentlemen were absolutely tickled to be there.  Hard to tell who was fan-boying more.  Pretty large moment for William, too, I imagine.  This was probably one of the first times he was deployed to stand in for Granny in this manner.  

 

 

I like the title👍

The Honours system has come in for a lot of criticism over the years with accusations that they are often used as a reward for services to a particular political party. Make a large donation and some kind of honour will come your way which devalues the process for those that genuinely deserve recognition. When lists are produced you can almost hear the cries of “why?” I notice that in the 2020 list Craig David got an MBE but I don’t know anything about him or why it was felt that he deserved one? Toby Jones got an OBE and Sheila Hancock became a Dame for her services to drama and charity (John Thaw got a CBE in 1994) Peter Cushing got an OBE in 1989. Christopher Lee got a knighthood then a CBE along with a lot of military awards which were sadly all auctioned off in 2017. 
 

I don’t know why Brett was overlooked but I know that there is a petition here (which I’ve signed) to get him a posthumous BAFTA.

https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jbbafta

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hikari said:

Wiki has a really exhaustive list of persons who have refused a Royal honor of any sort.  Surprised to find Rudyard Kipling on this list.  Has there been a British author who championed British Empire more?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_declined_a_British_honour

There are reasons other than political protest, apparently.  A footnote on that page quotes Kipling's wife as saying that he could "do his work better without it."  Concerned that it might go to his head, perhaps -- or that it would change people' expectations of him?

44 minutes ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I don’t know why Brett was overlooked but I know that there is a petition here (which I’ve signed) to get him a posthumous BAFTA.

https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jbbafta

He never even got a BAFTA?  Please excuse my ignornance, but did they exist then?

 

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I just looked it up Carol and it started as the British Film Academy in 1947 founded by Alexander Korda, Charles Laughton, David Lean, Carol Reed, Roger Manuel and others. The ‘television’ part was added in 1976.

BAFTA hand out the usual awards like Best Film, Best Actor etc but they also give 2 special awards. One is a BAFTA Fellowship first awarded in 1971 to Hitchcock. Other winners have been David Lean, Charlie Chaplin, Lawrence Olivier, Richard Attenburgh, Stephen Spielberg, Frederico Fellini, Michael Caine, John Thaw and most recently Siobhan Reddy (who I’ve never heard of,)

Also theres the Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema Award won by names like The Monty Python team, Kenneth Branagh, The Harry Potter Film Series and Andy Serkis. The most recent winner being Noel Clarke who I’d never heard of but clicking on his name I found that he’s the actor that played Mickey (Billie Piper’s boyfriend) in David Tennant’s Dr Who.

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Practically all of those people (at least the ones I recognized, which was the vast majority) are best known for their film work, whereas Brett was best known for playing Holmes on television.  Maybe it took a while for the BAFTA people to take TV really seriously (assuming that they do now).  That's one point in favor of the American system, I think, where there are two entirely separate organizations handing out the awards.

 

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The following may or may not help explain why Brett never won any major award for playing Holmes:  Leonard Nimoy never won any major awards for playing Spock over a span of fifty years in television and movies [link].  I have a couple of theories:  1. Both roles were simply too one-of-a-kind to be compared to the other candidates; or 2. Neither science fiction nor mystery was taken seriously as a drama genre.

Also, in the case of Nimoy/Spock, 3. The original series was seen as a commercial failure, which may have dampened his chances of winning, even though he was nominated for each of the show's three seasons.

 

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The BAFTAs are separate from the Queen's Honours Lists.  Though the BAFTAs do reward television work--hence our Ben and Martin (and Andrew Scott), and Mofftiss all winning in their categories--and though Mr. Brett was deserving of a TV BAFTA for the Granada Sherlock Holmes series, I am more upset about JB not being recognized in the Queen's Honours Lists, ever, over such a distinguished career.  That feels like a bigger insult to me, seeing as Jeremy did view himself as far  more than 'a TV actor'.  At heart he was a thespian of the stage, classically trained, with the kind of deep Shakespearean chops and roles that seem to be prerequisite for an acting knighthood.  He didn't even rate one of the lower ranks like the OBE.  A BAFTA is great, while it lasts, but unless it's a lifetime achievement award, is for one specific role or project.  A spot on the Honours list rewards the longevity of a career and the lasting impact of a talent across roles and even mediums.  Jeremy should have been honoured at some point over his decades of service to the British stage and screen.  He saw himself as far more than Sherlock Holmes, but that role, over such a long span of time, really defined that quintessentially British icon for all time.  If being 'the' definitive Sherlock Holmes for a generation (if not all time, though he is to me) doesn't rate a Royal Honour, I don't know how he could have been *more* exemplary.

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