LONDON — Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, once a scourge of the British establishment, received its ultimate accolade on Friday when he was knighted by heir to the throne Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
"It was all rather wonderfully formal," the 60-year-old rock 'n' roll lothario told reporters after the ceremony, in which Charles tapped him lightly on each shoulder with a sword.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday December 20, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Jagger's daughters -- The caption accompanying a photo of Mick Jagger with family members in Calendar on Dec. 13 misidentified the two daughters. Karis was standing next to Jagger; Elizabeth was on the far right.
Asked if he believed that he deserved the top British establishment accolade, the grinning Jagger replied: "Yeah."
The man who has fronted the legendary rock group for the past four decades rejected suggestions that he had sold out to the establishment against which he had railed for so long.
"I don't really think the establishment as we knew it exists anymore," he said with a slight toss of the head.
But showing at least a residue of rebellion, Jagger shunned the traditional top hat and tails, opting for a long, black leather coat, purple scarf and sports shoes.
He brought along his 92-year-old father, Joe, and two of his daughters to share the occasion.
Jagger hit out at fellow Stone Keith Richards, who claimed he was betraying the band's principles by accepting the honor.
"It is a bit like a bawling child who hasn't got an ice cream," he said, declining further comment.
The craggy-faced Richards, whose drug- and drink-fueled lifestyle is the stuff of legend, told Uncut music magazine he did not want to share a stage with a knight.
The award puts Jagger on a ceremonial par with pop knights Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney.