Apple chief designer gets knighthood always denied to Steve Jobs

Jonathan Ive gets second set of spurs with KBE, from Queen's New Year honors List


There is an elaborate hierarchy of knighthoods and related honors granted by the Queen (though largely controlled by politicians), gamely mapped out by Fortune. The differences among them are interesting, but useless in practical terms ever since their varying rights of rape, pillage and taxation-at-swordpoint were removed sometime during the Enlightenment.

Steve Jobs never was given a knighthood, though he was scheduled to receive one in 2009. Then-prime-minister Gordon Brown reportedly deleted him from the honors list for refusing to speak at a Labour Party conference.

Americans are not technically allowed to accept a knighthood, which amounts to an acknowledgment of allegiance to a foreign government and acceptance of a role as monarch's operative-at-arms.

They are permitted to accept honorary knighthoods, however, an honor accepted by former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush as well as Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.

Americans receiving the honor may use KBE as an honorific after their names, but not call themselves "Sir Steve," as British citizens are afterward compelled to do.

Ive won't have any problem with that, though you can count on his title being abused by Apple-haters looking for another reason to accuse Apple and its designers of focusing on frills and frou-frou rather than real technological innovation.

The endless conflict among fanbois is largely irrelevant, at this point, which is a good thing now that there is so much greater a risk that Sir Jony will mount up and ride against them (which he'll do as soon as someone builds good earphones and a Bluetooth connection into a jousting helmet so Sir Jony and his cronies can listen to music or talk on their iPhones during the battle.

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