Queen Elizabeth II has stripped disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein of his royal honorific.
The “cancellation and annulment” of Weinstein’s “Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” (CBE) honor, which the queen bestowed on him in 2004, was announced in The Gazette, the British newspaper of public record, on Sept. 18.
Although Weinstein isn’t British, the queen originally gave him the honor for his contributions to the British film industry. Non-British awardees receive honorary titles only.
Taking away a royal honor is rare but does happen. In fact, Weinstein’s annulment was one of nine published the same day. A forfeiture committee exists to review cases and decide if someone “has brought the honours system into disrepute,” according to the official British government page explaining the process.
Anyone who has been stripped of their title is “asked to return their insignia to Buckingham Palace and can no longer make any reference to their having an honour in the future.”
Weinstein, a convicted sex offender currently serving a 23-year prison sentence, is not the first well-known person to have a royal honorific removed.
Watchers of “The Crown” will remember Queen Elizabeth II’s art historian Anthony Blunt lost his knighthood after he was publicly revealed to have been a Soviet spy.
Other celebrities to have lost their honors include entertainer Rolf Harris, broadcaster Stuart Hall, boxer “Prince” Naseem, horse jockey Lester Piggott, and nefarious world leaders Robert Mugabe, Nicolae Ceausescu and Benito Mussolini.
The British monarchy has a number of different titles and honors it can bestow. Below, Queen Elizabeth II makes Captain Thomas Moore a knight in July 2020 for his charitable efforts. He now goes by the title “Sir.”
Other titles and honors include the Dame designation, which is the female equivalent of a Knight, plus various Orders, the British Empire Order, the Royal Victorian Order and Medal, and the Queen’s Police, Fire and Ambulance service medals.
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