Ralph Lauren is officially the first American fashion designer to be a recipient of honorary British knighthood for his contributions to society and services to fashion. The private ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace, where the 79-year-old was presented with the insignia by Prince Charles on Wednesday 20th of June. Marking his commitment to The Royal Marsden hospital Lauren was also the guest of honour at a dinner hosted by Prince William at Windsor Castle.
Ralph Lauren’s famed eponymous brand draws much of its inspiration from classic English styles and has been a longtime favourite of the royals from Princess Diana to the duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex.
In a statement at the ceremony Lauren stated “To have the honorary KBE conferred on me by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and presented to me personally by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is an honour I have humbly accepted,” as reported by People Magazine. “I have always been inspired by the history, traditions and culture of Great Britain and the historic relationship our two countries have shared. This is one of the most meaningful honours bestowed at this very special moment in my 50th anniversary”.
Lauren is now eligible to put a ‘KBE’ at the end of his signature though he will not be able to use “Sir” ahead of his names given his American citizenship, that is unless he becomes a British citizen too. The fashion designer and business executive has previously been awarded the French Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and given a Key to the City of New York.
Among the other Americans who have also received honorary knighthoods and damehoods include presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan , Angelina Jolie, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg.