Bill Gates picks up honorary knighthood from Queen

Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will receive an honorary Knighthood from the U.K.'s Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

Gates has been awarded the title KBE, or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his contribution to enterprise, employment, education and the voluntary sector in the U.K., and for his efforts to reduce poverty in the developing world, including parts of the British Commonwealth.

As part of the ceremony to present the decoration, Gates will kneel before the monarch, who will tap him on the shoulder with a sword. The motto of the order of chivalry is "For God and the Empire."

Under a system established in 1917, Gates cannot use the title "Sir" because he is not a U.K. or Commonwealth citizen, but he can write the letters KBE after his name.

The U.K. Foreign Office announced in January 2004 that Gates would receive the award.

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