Strengthening the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom

 

Mike Bloomberg Knighted

Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, has harbored a longstanding fondness for Britain — selecting London as the European home for both his company and his charity, trading governing advice with that city’s mayor and throwing parties at a two-story apartment on Cadogan Square.

 

On Monday, the affection was returned in earnest: Queen Elizabeth II named Mr. Bloomberg an honorary knight.The announcement cited Mr. Bloomberg’s “prodigious entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors, and the many ways in which they have benefited the United Kingdom and the U.K.-U.S. specia relationship.”

 

In a statement, Mr. Bloomberg called Britain “a place I have long considered my second home.”But because he is not a British citizen, Mr. Bloomberg cannot be referred to as “sir” in the common parlance of knighthood. He “may forthwith put ‘K.B.E.’ after his name if he wishes,” the announcement said, signifying his status as a knight of the British Empire.

 

Though Mr. Bloomberg has long harbored global ambitions, in business and policy-making, Britain seems to have captured his imagination like few other places.

 

 

 

 

Mayor Boris Johnson of London, left, presented  Michael R. Bloomberg, then mayor of New York City,

with a "Bloomberg" London Underground plaque on Sept. 24, 2013. Credit Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, has harbored a longstanding fondness for Britain — selecting London as the European home for both his company and his charity, trading governing advice with that city’s mayor and throwing parties at a two-story apartment on Cadogan Square.

 

On Monday, the affection was returned in earnest: Queen Elizabeth II named Mr. Bloomberg an honorary knight.The announcement cited Mr. Bloomberg’s “prodigious entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors, and the many ways in which they have benefited the United Kingdom and the U.K.-U.S. specia relationship.”

 

In a statement, Mr. Bloomberg called Britain “a place I have long considered my second home.”But because he is not a British citizen, Mr. Bloomberg cannot be referred to as “sir” in the common parlance of knighthood. He “may forthwith put ‘K.B.E.’ after his name if he wishes,” the announcement said, signifying his status as a knight of the British Empire.

 

Though Mr. Bloomberg has long harbored global ambitions, in business and policy-making, Britain seems to have captured his imagination like few other places.

 

Late in his 12-year tenure as mayor, Mr. Bloomberg joined London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, to announce a renewed tourism partnership” to increase travel between the two cities, exchanging outdoor advertising space, among other measures.

 

Other ideas of Mr. Bloomberg’s mayoral administration have seeped into British life. Advisers to Prime Minister David Cameron have tried their own version of 311, and Mr. Johnson began a volunteer program modeled after Mr. Bloomberg’s.

 

Mr. Bloomberg is also chairman of the Serpentine Gallery, which he described on Monday as “one of my favorite spots in London” in a Twitter post unrelated to his knighthood. Mr. Bloomberg’s successor in City Hall, Bill de Blasio, recently dabbled in British politics himself. In a bid to spread across the Atlantic his message of combating income inequality, Mr. de Blasio spoke last month to  Labour Party leaders hoping to retake the prime minister’s office next year. (Mr. Bloomberg has spoken twice at Conservative Party conferences.)

 

While Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire, joins exclusive company with the queen’s announcement, he is neither  the the wealthiest honorary knight — Bill Gates joined the ranks in 2005 — nor the first New York City mayor to  receive the distinction.

 

In 2002, weeks after leaving office, Rudolph W. Giuliani was honored for his leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He traveled to Buckingham Palace for a ceremony with the queen. "Ive  have been through many, many medal ceremonies,” he said at the time, and called the proceedings "much, much better run” than others he had attended.

 

The trip was not without its hiccups. Tony Blair, then the prime minister, pronounced the former mayor’s name as “GWEE-liani” in Parliament.

 

It was unclear if or when Mr. Bloomberg might receive his honor in person, though he seemed to be familiar with the ritual.

 

In the early days of his firm’s European office in London, Mr. Bloomberg held a party at a nearby artillery hall where, former colleagues have recalled, a worker in full military regalia “knighted” Mr. Bloomberg with a sword.

 

 

 

 

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