10 People Who Turned Down Honours

Posted on January 29, 2012


written for the New Statesman – words by Robert Pollard

Cabinet office publish list of 277 people who rejected OBEs, CBEs and knighthoods over the past 40 years.

The names of people who have rejected honours from the Queen has been released after Cabinet Office officials were forced to publish the information. LS Lowry, CS Lewis, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud are among the most notable names on the list.

Here are 10 who turned down honours.

Roald Dahl – OBE, 1986

Henry Moore – Knight, 1951

Alfred Hitchcock – CBE 1962

Lucian Freud – CBE, 1977

Aldous Huxley – Knight, 1959

CS Lewis – CBE 1952

Evelyn Waugh – CBE 1959

LS Lowry – OBE, CBE, Kt, CH, between 1955-1976

Francis Bacon – CBE 1960

Robert Graves – CBE 1957, CH 1984

Between 1951 and 1999, 277 people declined honours, with 89 rejected MBEs, 89 OBEs, 61 CBEs and 27 knighthoods. The most remarkable example is artist LS Lowry who turned down an honour on 5 occasions, including the offer of a knighthood in 1968.

The published list contains names of those who turned down and honours and have since died. Another list was leaked in 2003 which showed that David Bowie and French and Saunders had also turned down awards.

Posted in: Politics