Spielberg to Receive Honorary Knighthood

ByABC News

Dec. 29, 2000 -- Maybe now the neighbors will shut up about that $7 million indoor riding ring he wants to build not far from his home.

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg will be knighted on behalf of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contributions to that country’s film industry, a spokesman for the British Consulate in Los Angeles said Thursday.

Spielberg, whose films include Raiders of the Lost Ark,Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List, will be awarded his honorary knighthood Jan. 29 by British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer.

“It’s an honorary knighthood because knighthood per se is just for British citizens,” Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy said, adding that the director was “enormously honored and humbled.”

“It’s an extraordinary honor,” Levy said. “He has greataffection and respect for the British film industry and theBritish people. He has always enjoyed every moment he’s spent in the U.K. — or anywhere where the British flag flies.”

Levy said Spielberg has also been selected to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sometime in the next year.

No Kneeling or Tapping

Honorary knighthoods are conferred by the queen, on the advice of the foreign secretary, on those who have made an important contribution to relations between their country and Britain.

Spielberg will not have to kneel or be tapped on each shoulder with a sword, as is the practice with full knighthoods. Honorary knights do not take the title “sir.”

The film director is not the first American to receive an honorary British knighthood.

Other recent recipients include comedian Bob Hope, former presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan, Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.

ABCNEWS’ Marcia Salter and Reuters contributed to this report.

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