The Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire kudos for Iger and Williams were part of a number of honorary awards for foreign nationals that were approved for 2022 by the beloved monarch, who died Sept. 8 at age 96 after a historic reign.
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Iger was cited for “services to the UK/US relations,” presumably referring to his long run as a top Disney executive and the company’s notable presence in the global content business and U.K.-based film, TV and stage production. Williams, a five-time Oscar winner and an accomplished conductor, was cited for his many years of “services to film music.”
Iger, who retired from Disney at the end of last year, expressed his gratitude for the nod from Queen Elizabeth II in a statement.
“These last few weeks we have been reminded of the extraordinary life and service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is truly special and one of the great honors of my life to have the honorary Knight of the British Empire conferred on me by her before she passed,” Iger said. “Our two nations share a strong bond, which I have seen up close over many years through my deep personal and professional connections to the United Kingdom. I have great affection for the people of the UK, and have always appreciated and been inspired by their extraordinary contributions, particularly in the creative arts.”
Iger and Williams were the only entertainment industry boldface names on the list and they were the only two KBE honors awarded. Others who received a tip of the scepter from the Queen included climate change activist Christiana Figueres (Honorary DBE), chef and author Ken Hom (Honorary CBE) and Ford Foundation president Darren Walker (Honorary OBE).
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