Yan's Corner - In Touch

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Sir Bill Gates?

No, not “Sir”. He is still Bill Gates even though the Queen has knighted him.

Bill Gates has received the honour in recognition of his business leadership and his philanthropy through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation has USD28,8 billion endowment and has given away about USD7.5 billion in grant commitments to health and education initiates around the world.

Why not “sir” with this Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire? British recipients of knighthoods are entitled to be addressed with a "Sir" before their names. The honor was long the preserve of senior soldiers, judges and other servants of the state, but recent years have seen the creation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Elton John.

Gates is neither a British citizen or a member of the British Commonwealth, So he cannot be referred to as Sir Bill.

Bill said he is “humbled and delighted” by the knighting.

But, interestingly, he said he will eat his hat if HIV vaccine appeared within the next decade.

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