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Honorary Title : Queen Installs Geldof, Getty as Knights

July 24, 1986|From Reuters

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II invested rock singer Bob Geldof as an honorary knight today for championing starving Africans and complimented the normally disheveled performer on his appearance in a tailored morning suit.

American oil tycoon John Paul Getty II came out of seclusion to receive an honorary knighthood also at Buckingham Palace for his gifts to the British arts and various charitable causes.

Geldof, the 32-year-old Irish singer, led a drive that raised more than $100 million for African famine victims at last year's Live Aid rock concerts.

The queen placed the insignia of the Knight Commander of the British Empire around Geldof's neck and said, "This is a small token for the work you have done."

"Believe me, it was harder work getting into this suit," he replied. Smiling, the monarch said: "Yes. I expect it was, but you look very nice."

Can't Use 'Sir'

The honorary knighthood means Geldof and Getty may add KBE after their names but neither may be addressed as "Sir."

Getty has rarely been seen in public in more than 15 years of living in Britain. After the ceremony, he told reporters: "I love this country and getting this honor from the queen is part of it all. It makes me feel that I am part of things here."

Guarding his privacy, he said: "I am not in show business. I am not looking for publicity. I am looking for peace."

Getty spends most of his time in a $540-a-day suite in a private London hospital because of a rare circulation disorder.

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