Arise, Sir Bri: Brian May to be honoured with a knighthood by King Charles III

Brian May
(Image credit: Jonathan Buckmaster / WPA Pool/Getty Image)

Guitar legend Brian May will be knighted in 2023 after being named in King Charles III's first ever New Year's Honours List. 

“I'm happy and grateful to receive this honour," said the Queen guitarist in his response to the announcement. "I will regard the knighthood not so much as a reward, but more as a charge – a commission - for me to continue to fight for justice – to be a voice for those who have no voice.  I will endeavour to be worthy – to be that Knight in Shining Armour.”

May performed at the Gold and Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the late Queen Elizabeth II and has been recognised for his services to music and charity with the honour. He was previously appointed Commander Of The Order Of The British Empire in 2005 for his work in the arts and charity. 

May is the co-founder of the Save Me Trust, which campaigns for the rights of foxes and badgers in the UK. He is also vice-president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

“I don't think I expected it because I haven't been conducting the kind of life which I thought would lead to a knighthood," said May of his initial surprise to the news. "I've been quite vociferous in criticising recent governments for a start. So I imagined that I was on the wrong side for all that stuff.

“I also think it comes with a responsibility to continue to behave in a way which benefits the country and the rest of the population here and the world as well.”

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Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.