Allegedly Declined a British Honour

by Sylviastel | created - 27 Jan 2012 | updated - 01 Aug 2018 | Public

The people below have declined a British honor in the past. Some have selected higher honors that doesn't carry titles.

1. John Cleese

Actor | A Fish Called Wanda

John Cleese was born on October 27, 1939, in Weston-Super-Mare, England, to Muriel Evelyn (Cross) and Reginald Francis Cleese. He was born into a family of modest means, his father being an insurance salesman; but he was nonetheless sent off to private schools to obtain a good education. Here he ...

Refused a CBE in 1996 and a Life Peerage (Barony) in 1999.

2. Hattie Jacques

Actress | Carry on Again Doctor

Best known for playing Matron - as in "ooh, Matron!" - in four films: Carry On Nurse (1959), Carry On Doctor (1967), Carry On Again Doctor (1969) and, of course Carry On Matron (1972). Key roles included: Grace Short in Carry On Teacher (1959), Sophie Bliss in Carry on Loving (1970) and Peggy ...

According to the authorized biography, she declined an OBE for personal reasons.

3. Alan Rickman

Actor | Die Hard

Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years ...

declined a CBE.

4. Paul Scofield

Actor | A Man for All Seasons

Though his number of film roles amount to a bit over 30, Paul Scofield has cast a giant shadow in the world of stage and film acting. He grew up in West Sussex, the son of a schoolmaster. He attended the Varndean School for Boys in Brighton. The love of acting came early. While still high school ...

He kept declining Knighthood in 1968 because he didn't want to be called Sir.

5. Doris Lessing

Writer | Adoration

Doris Lessing was born on October 22, 1919 in Kermanshah, Persia as Doris May Tayler. She was a writer, known for Adore (2013), Maupassant (1963) and Memoirs of a Survivor (1981). She was married to Gottfried Anton Nicolai Lessing and Frank Charles Wisdom. She died on November 17, 2013 in London, ...

She declined an OBE in 1977, Damehood in 1992, but she accepted a CH (Companion of the Honour) in 2000 that is more prestigous since only 65 living recipients of the honor at the same time.

6. Grace Williams

Composer | Blue Scar

Studied music with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Egon Wellesz. In 1930s met Benjamin Britten who introduced her to film scoring.

Allegedly declined an OBE in 1966 for her services to music.

7. Vanessa Redgrave

Actress | Atonement

On January 30, 1937, renowned theatre actor Michael Redgrave was performing in a production of Hamlet in London. During the curtain call, the show's lead, Laurence Olivier, announced to the audience: "tonight a great actress was born". This was in reference to his co-star's newborn daughter, ...

She accepted a CBE in 1967 but declined damehood in 1999.

8. Geraldine McEwan

Actress | Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Geraldine McEwan was born in Old Windsor, England and made her theatre debut at the age of 14 at the Theatre Royal in Windsor. By the age of 18 she was starring in London's West End in several long-running popular productions. During the 1950s she acted with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in ...

Allegedly declined an OBE in 1986 and Damehood in 2002.

9. Dawn French

Actress | French and Saunders

Dawn French was born on October 11, 1957 in Holyhead, Wales as Dawn Roma French. She is an actress and writer, known for French and Saunders (1987), The Vicar of Dibley (1994) and Coraline (2009). She has been married to Mark Bignell since April 20, 2013. She was previously married to Lenny Henry.

She declined an OBE with professional partner, Jennifer Saunders, in 2001.

10. Jennifer Saunders

Actress | Absolutely Fabulous

Jennifer Saunders was born July 6, 1958 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, to Jane, a biology teacher, and Robert Thomas Saunders, an RAF pilot. She attended Central School of Speech and Drama where she met her comedy partner Dawn French. Like many of the early 80s groundbreaking "alternative" comedians ...

She declined an OBE with her professional partner, Dawn French, in 2001.

11. Nigella Lawson

Self | Nigella Express

Nigella Lawson was born on January 6, 1960 in Wandsworth, London, England as Nigella Lucy Lawson. She is a producer and writer, known for Nigella Express (2007), Nigellissima (2012) and Nigella Feasts (2006). She was previously married to Charles Saatchi and John Diamond.

She declined an OBE.

12. Lenny Henry

Actor | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Lenworth George Henry was born on August 29, 1958, in Dudley, West Midlands in England to a family of Jamaican immigrants. He made his TV debut on a talent show called "New Faces" in 1975 at the age of 16. He won and went on to things such as The Fosters (1976) and Tiswas (1974), which was when his...

He declined an OBE but later was awarded a CBE in 1998 and Knighthood in 2015.

13. Peter Alliss

Self | Women's British Open

Peter Alliss was born on February 28, 1931 in Berlin, Germany.

He allegedly declined an OBE in 2002.

14. Philip Larkin

Writer | On the Margin

English poet. His father Sydney was City Treasurer of Coventry. Philip was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry. By the age of 16 he was already having poetry published in the school magazine, The Coventrian. In 1940 he went to St. John's College, Oxford, to study English. On graduating (...

He allegedly declined an OBE in 1968.

15. Jim Broadbent

Actor | Moulin Rouge!

One of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Laverick Broadbent and sculptress Doreen "Dee" (Findlay) Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a ...

He allegedly declined an OBE in 2002.

16. Ken Loach

Director | I, Daniel Blake

Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into...

He allegedly declined an OBE in 1977.

17. Roald Dahl

Writer | The Witches

Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916. He served as a fighter pilot in the British R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) during World War II. He made a forced landing in the Libyan Desert and was severely injured. As a result, he spent five months in a Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. Dahl is known for how he ...

He allegedly declined an OBE in 1986 because he wanted Knighthood.

18. Michael Winner

Director | Death Wish

Winner was an only child, born in Hampstead, London, England, to Helen (née Zlota) and George Joseph Winner (1910-1975), a company director. His family was Jewish; his mother was Polish and his father of Russian extraction. Following his father's death, Winner's mother gambled recklessly and sold ...

He allegedly declined an OBE in 2006.

19. Graham Greene

Writer | The Fallen Idol

Graham Greene was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century and his influence on the cinema and theatre was enormous. He wrote five plays and almost all of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Ministry of Fear" and "The End of the Affair", have been brought to the screen. A superb ...

He allegedly declined an CBE in 1956 but later accepted the Companion of Honour in 1966 and the Order of Merit in 1984.

20. Kim Philby

Kim Philby was born on January 1, 1912 in Ambala, Punjab, British India as Harold Adrian Russell Philby. He was married to Rufina Ivanovna Pukhova, Eleanor Brewer, Aileen Furse and Litzi Friedmann. He died on May 11, 1988 in Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR.

He was awarded the OBE for his services during World War II but was stripped of this title in 1965 when he was exposed as a double agent for the Soviet Union.

21. Hank B. Marvin

Soundtrack | Thunderbirds Are GO

Hank Marvin was the lead guitarist of The Shadows, the best-selling British rock 'n' roll act before The Beatles. Marvin and The Shadows had huge hits in the UK, including "Apache" and "Wonderful Land". As a guitarist, whose trademark was a clean, pure sound accentuated by a distinctive echo effect...

Unlike Brian Bennett and Bruce Welch, he declined an OBE in 2004 for personal reasons.

22. Honor Blackman

Actress | Goldfinger

Comparing this sultry-eyed blonde to Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich may seem a bit overzealous, but Honor Blackman's stylish allure over the years cannot be denied.

One of four children, Blackman was born in London's East End to a statistician father employed with the civil service and a homemaker ...

She allegedly declined a CBE in 2002.

23. Albert Finney

Actor | Murder on the Orient Express

The son of a Lancashire bookmaker, Albert Finney came to motion pictures via the theatre. In 1956, he won a scholarship to RADA where his fellow alumni included Peter O'Toole and Alan Bates. He joined the Birmingham Repertory where he excelled in plays by William Shakespeare. A member of the Royal ...

He allegedly declined a CBE in 1980 and Knighthood in 2000.

24. Bernard Kerik


Bernard Kerik was born on September 4, 1955 in Newark, New Jersey, USA as Bernard Bailey Kerik. He is known for his work on Widows (2018), 15 Septembers Later (2016) and The House I Live In (2012). He has been married to Hala Matli since November 1, 1998. They have two children. He was previously ...

He was given an honorary CBE but he should stripped since he's in prison serving time on a plea deal for corruption.

25. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...

Refused a CBE in 1994. He accepted Knighthood in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

26. Helen Mirren

Actress | RED

Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. ...

She accepted Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire but declined a CBE in 1996 prior to it.

27. Michael Frayn

Writer | Clockwise

Michael Frayn was born on September 8, 1933 in London, England. He is a writer and actor, known for Clockwise (1986), Theatre Night (1985) and First and Last (1989). He has been married to Claire Tomalin since June 5, 1993. He was previously married to Gillian Palmer.

He declined a CBE in 1989 and later refused knighthood in the 2003 New Years Honours List.

28. Alan Bennett

Writer | The Madness of King George

Alan Bennett is an award-winning dramatist and screenwriter who is best known as a member of Beyond the Fringe (1964) (a satirical review that was a hit on both the London stage and on Broadway and featured fellow members Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore) and for his plays The Madness ...

He refused knighthood in 1996 and declined a CBE in 1988.

29. David Bowie

Soundtrack | Labyrinth

David Bowie was one of the most influential and prolific writers and performers of popular music, but he was much more than that; he was also an accomplished actor, a mime and an intellectual, as well as an art lover whose appreciation and knowledge of it had led to him amassing one of the biggest ...

He refused a CBE in 2000 and Knighthood in 2003.

30. Keith Richards

Actor | Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Keith Richards is an internationally recognized iconic figure in contemporary culture and popular music as a singer, guitar player, songwriter, film actor, and public figure. He was voted 10th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, and was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of ...

He refused a CBE.

31. Naseem Hamed

Actor | Arli$$

A British Muslim whose parents are of Yemeni descent. Former WBO Featherweight Champion 1995-2000 with 15 title defenses, former IBO Featherweight Champion former WBC Featherweight Champion, former IBF Featherweight Champion, former WBC International Super Bantamweight Champion, former European (...

His MBE was stripped in 2007 for drunk driving conviction.

32. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

He declined a CBE but later accepted Knighthood.

33. John Lennon

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia Lennon (née Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was raised by his mother's older sister Mimi Smith. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, ...

He returned his MBE in 1969 to protest the Vietnam War.

34. John le Carré

Writer | The Constant Gardener

He was born in Poole, Dorset in England on October 19th, 1931. He went to Sherborne School and, later, studied German literature for one year at University of Bern. Later, he went to Lincoln College, Oxford and graduated in Modern Languages. From 1956 to 1958, he taught at Eton and from 1959 to ...

He declined a CBE.

35. Alastair Sim

Actor | Scrooge

The son of Alexander Sim JP and Isabella McIntyre, Alastair Sim was educated in Edinburgh. Always interested in language (especially the spoken word) he became the Fulton Lecturer in Elocution at New College, Edinburgh University from 1925 until 1930. He was invited back and became the Rector of ...

He declined knighthood but previously accepted a CBE. His father had also declined knighthood.

36. J.G. Ballard

Writer | High-Rise

J.G. Ballard was born on November 15, 1930 in Shanghai, China as James Graham Ballard. He was a writer and actor, known for High-Rise (2015), Crash (1996) and Empire of the Sun (1987). He was married to Helen Mary Matthews. He died on April 19, 2009 in London, England.

He declined a CBE in 2003.

37. Bernie Ecclestone

Self | Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone was born on October 28, 1930 in Bungay, Suffolk, England as Bernard Charles Ecclestone. He has been married to Fabiana Flosi since August 2012. He was previously married to Slavica Radic and Ivy Bamford.

He declined a CBE in 1996.

38. Evelyn Waugh

Writer | The Loved One

Evelyn Waugh was born on October 28, 1903 in London, England as Arthur St. John Waugh. He was a writer and actor, known for The Loved One (1965), Brideshead Revisited (2008) and The Jazz Age (1968). He was married to Laura Herbert and Evelyn Gardner. He died on April 10, 1966 in Combe Florey, ...

He declined a CBE in 1959 because he wanted Knighthood.

39. Paul Weller

Soundtrack | Grosse Pointe Blank

Has 5 children: Daughters Leah, Dylan, and Jesamine, and sons Nathaniel and Stevie. His mother named him John after contracting polio of the throat right after his birth. She was bordering on delirium and blurted out the first name she thought of. She later renamed him Paul, but his name has never ...

He declined a CBE in 2007.

40. Francis Bacon

Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider

Francis Bacon was born on October 28, 1909 in Dublin, Ireland. He died on April 28, 1992 in Madrid, Spain.

He declined a CBE in 1960 but later accepted a CH (Companion of Honour) in 1977.

41. Carla Lane

Writer | Bread

Carla Lane was born on August 5, 1928 in West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire, England as Romana Barrack. She was a writer and producer, known for Bread (1986), The Liver Birds (1969) and Luv (1993). She was married to Arthur Hollins. She died on May 31, 2016 in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, Merseyside, ...

She returned the OBE in protest of a CBE being awarded to the managing director of the Huntingdon Life Science because the company's testing on animals.

42. Robert Graves

Writer | Le guerriere dal seno nudo

British poet and novelist Robert Graves was born Robert von Ranke Graves in London, England, in 1895. He began to write poetry while a student at London's Charterhouse School, and even while serving as an officer in the British army during World War I he kept at it, turning out three books of ...

He declined a CBE in 1957 and the Companion of Honor in 1984.

43. George Melly

Writer | Take a Girl Like You

George Melly was born on August 17, 1926 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England as Alan George Heywood Melly. He is known for his work on Take a Girl Like You (1970), Smashing Time (1967) and Ain't Misbehavin' (1997). He was married to Diana (née Dawson) Ashe and Victoria Vaughan. He died on July 5, ...

He declined a CBE in 2001.

44. Arnold Wesker

Actor | Waking the Dead

Arnold Wesker was born on May 24, 1932 in Stepney, London, England. He was a writer and actor, known for Waking the Dead (2000), The Kitchen (1961) and National Theatre Live: The Kitchen (2011). He was married to Doreen (Dusty) Cecile Bicker. He died on April 12, 2016 in Brighton, East Sussex, ...

He declined a CBE.

45. Vidkun Quisling

Self | Kongens nei

Norwegian traitor Vidkun Quisling was born in 1887. An army officer, he served as military attaché in Petrograd from 1918-19 and in Helsinki from 1919-21, later assisting Fridtjof Nansen in relief work in Russia. He was Norwegian minister of defense from 1931 to 1933. He then left the Agrarian ...

He was awarded the CBE in 1929 but was stripped of his title in 1940 for his collaboration with Nazi Germany's occupation of Norway during World War II.

46. V.S. Naipaul

Writer | The Mystic Masseur

V.S. Naipaul was born on August 17, 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago as Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul. He was a writer, known for The Mystic Masseur (2001), The Levin Interviews (1980) and Le cercle de minuit (1992). He was married to Nadira Khannum Alvi and Patricia Ann Hale. He ...

He declined a CBE in 1977.

47. Polly Toynbee

Director | Women of Our Century

Polly Toynbee was born on December 27, 1946 in Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England. She is a director, known for Women of Our Century (1984), X-Rated (2004) and UK General Election (1950).

She declined a CBE in 2000.

48. Rachel Whiteread

Self | The Works

Rachel Whiteread was born in 1963 in London, England.

She declined an MBE in 1997 but later accepted a CBE in 2006.

49. John Cole

Self | Six O'Clock News

John Cole was born on November 23, 1927 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was married to Madge. He died on November 7, 2013 in Surrey, England.

He declined a CBE in 1993.

50. Wally Herbert

Actor | Jackanory

Wally Herbert was born on October 24, 1934 in York, England as Walter William Herbert. He was an actor, known for Jackanory (1965), This Is Your Life (1955) and Search (1971). He was married to Marie McGaughey. He died on June 12, 2007 in Inverness, Scotland.

He declined a CBE but accepted Knighthood in 2000.

51. Rolf Harris

Soundtrack | Australia

Rolf Harris came to London in 1952 to study Art. A year later he was appearing on TV as an artist and storyteller and had his first hit as a singer in the early sixties with Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport. After a relatively quiet period in his life in the late seventies, his brother Bruce Harris ...

Due to his recent convictions, I expect that his honours of a CBE; OBE; & MBE to be rescinded fully. I am deeply saddened by the turn of events. His CBE was stripped.

52. Anish Kapoor

Lost Paradise: A Smart Talk

Anish Kapoor was born on March 12, 1954 in Bombay, State of Bombay, India. He has been married to Susanne Spicale since 1995. They have two children.

allegedly declined previous honors but was awarded the CBE & Knighthood.

53. Winston Churchill

Writer | Matinee Theatre

Born in Blenheim Palace, the residence of his grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father was the Duke's third son, Lord Randolph Churchill. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was the daughter of an American financier.

After passing through famous English public schools such as Harrow, he went on ...

He refused the Knight of the Order of the Garter after losing the election but accepted the honor in 1953. He was also awarded the Order of Merit (OM) and CH (Companion of Honor). He was offered Dukedom of London but declined to remain in the House of Commons.

54. Robert Morley

Actor | Marie Antoinette

English character actor Robert Morley was educated in England, Germany, France and Italy. His family planned for him to go into the diplomatic service but he liked the idea of acting more. After studying at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London he appeared on the London stage in 1929 ...

declined Knighthood in 1975 but accepted a CBE in 1957.

55. Benjamin Disraeli

Writer | Sybil

Served as Prime Minister of United Kingdom in 1868 and 1874-1880.

He was 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Knight of the Garter, PC, FRS, statesman, and Prime Minister; declined dukedom.

56. George Earl of Harewood

Self | Face the Music

George Earl of Harewood was born on February 7, 1923 in London, England as George Henry Hubert Lascelles. He was married to Tuckwell, Patricia and Marion Thorpe. He died on July 11, 2011 in Leeds, England.

5th Earl of Harewood; GCVO; he declined Marquessate.

57. Arthur J. Balfour

Self | Chamberlain and Balfour

Arthur J. Balfour was born on July 25, 1848 in Wittinghame, Scotland. He died on March 19, 1930 in Woking, Surrey, England.

former Prime Minister in 1999; accepted the Earldom of Balfour in 1922.

58. R.A. Butler

Self | Reputations

R.A. Butler was born on December 9, 1902 in India as Richard Austen Butler. He was married to Sydney Elizabeth Courtauld. He died on March 8, 1982.

Knight of the Garter, Companion of Honor; PC; Conservative Politician in 1964; accepted life peerage as Baron Butler of Saffron Walden in 1965. Declined Earldom in 1964.

59. Neville Chamberlain

Self | Biography

Neville Chamberlain was born on March 18, 1869 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England as Arthur Neville Chamberlain. He was married to Anne de Vere Cole. He died on November 9, 1940 in Heckfield, Hampshire, England.

Declined the Knight of the Garter in October 1940 and Earldom.

60. Anthony Eden

Self | Le chagrin et la pitié

Anthony Eden was born on June 12, 1897 in Windlestone, Durham, England as Robert Anthony Eden. He was married to Clarissa Spencer-Churchill and Beatrice Beckett. He died on January 14, 1977 in Alvediston, Wiltshire, England.

Sir Anthony Eden was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Garter, Military Cross. He retired as Prime Minister in 1957. Declined an earldom but later accepted the Earldom of Avon in 1961.

Prime Minister in 1885; declined Earldom.

62. Harold Macmillan

Writer | The First World War

Harold MacMillan was born in London in 1894, the grandson of publisher Daniel MacMillan. Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Grenadier Guards in 1914. Serving on the Western front, he was present at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. In 1924 he stood as Conservative candidate ...

OM, PC, statesman and prime minister. declined earldom in 1963 but later accepted Earldom of Stockton in 1984.

63. John Grigg

Self | This Week

John Grigg was born on April 15, 1924 in London, England as John Edward Poynder Grigg. He was married to Marian Patricia Campbell. He died on December 31, 2001 in London.

Declined Viscountcy; 2nd Baron Altrincham, writer, historian and politician.

Sir; Private Secretary to the Sovereign; declined Barony in 1953.

65. Isaiah Berlin

Self | The Levin Interviews

Isaiah Berlin was born on June 6, 1909 in Riga, Russian Empire. He died on November 5, 1997 in Oxford, England.

OM; philosopher; declined Life Peerage (Barony) in 1980.

66. Tony Blair

Actor | The Simpsons

Tony Blair was born on May 6, 1953 in Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland as Anthony Charles Lynton Blair. He is an actor, known for The Simpsons (1989), CNN World Report (1987) and Pass the Mic (2000). He has been married to Cherie Blair since March 29, 1980. They have four children.

Declined Order of the Garter and the Order of the Thistle in 2007. Declined Life Peerage (Barony).

Labour MP; Secretary of State for Employment 1974-1979; declined Life Peerage (Barony) on democratic and socialist grounds.

68. Gordon Brown

Self | UK General Election

Gordon Brown was born on February 20, 1951 in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland as James Gordon Brown. He has been married to Sarah Brown since August 3, 2000. They have three children.

declined Life Peerage (Barony).

69. Charles Clarke

Self | UK General Election

Charles Clarke was born on September 21, 1950 in Hammersmith, London, England as Charles Rodway Clarke. He has been married to Carol Pearson since 1984. They have two children.

Labour MP and Cabinet Minister; declined Life Peerage (Barony).

70. Michael Foot

Writer | Young Veteran

Michael Foot was born on July 23, 1913 in Plymouth, Devon, England as Michael Mackintosh Foot. He was a writer, known for Young Veteran (1940), Yellow Caesar (1941) and Two Hours from London (1995). He was married to Jill Craigie. He died on March 3, 2010 in Hampstead, London, England.

Labour Party leader 1980-1983. Declined Life Peerage (Barony).

journalist, industrial correspondent, declined life peerage in the mid 1970s.

72. Edward Heath

Self | Piano Party

Edward Heath was born in 1916 in Broadstairs, Kent. His father was a carpenter, his mother was a maid and his background was very modest. He attended Balliol College at Oxford, where he earned a second-class degree in philosophy, politics and economics. He got active in Conservative Party politics ...

former Prime Minister; preferred to retain a seat as MP; declined Life Peerage (Barony).

73. Arthur Holt

Actor | Nutcase

Arthur Holt is an actor, known for Nutcase (1980) and Election 74 (1974).

Liberal MP 1951-1964; declined a Life Peerage (barony) in 1967.

74. Ludovic Kennedy

Writer | Target Tirpitz

He was educated at Eton College and at Oxford University (Christs Church), Oxford, England. He gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He fought in the Second World War between 1939 and 1945. He wrote the book "Sub-Lieutenant", published in 1942. He ...

author, journalist, broadcaster; declined a Life Peerage (Barony) in 1967. He joined the SNP but later accepted a KBE.

75. John Major

Self | Sir David Frost: That Was the Life That Was

John Major was born on March 29, 1943 in London. He was the son of Tom Major-Ball, a retired circus performer who was 65 when John Major was born. He attended Cheam Common Primary School and Rutlish Grammar School, where he had an undistinguished academic career. In the mid '50s, his family was ...

former Prime Minister; He was awarded Knighthood and CH. Declined life peerage (barony) in 2001. He later accepted the KG.

76. Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

Self | Catholics and Sex

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was born on August 24, 1932 in Reading, Berkshire, England. He died on September 1, 2017 in the UK.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster. He declined Life Peerage (Barony) in 2009 on advice from the Vatican.

77. J.B. Priestley

Writer | Last Holiday

John Boynton Priestley was one of England's last great writers--he was a member of the last generation of freethinking British "sages" who contemplated both science and philosophy in their literary output. Today his books are mostly out of print and his name is all but forgotten except in the dusty...

Author; declined life peerage (barony) in 1965 and declined CH in 1969.

78. Norman Willis

Self | Have I Got News for You

Norman Willis was born as Norman David Willis.

General Secretary TUC from 1984 to 1993; declined Life Peerage (Barony) .

79. George Woodcock

Self | Weekend World

George Woodcock was born on October 20, 1904 in Bamber Bridge, Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire, England. He was married to Laura Mary McKernan. He died on October 30, 1979 in Epsom, Surrey, England.

General Secertary TUC; declined life peerage (Barony) in 1970 as being incompatible with democratic socialism.

80. Jack Jones

Self | Weekend World

Jack Jones was born on March 29, 1913 in Garston, Liverpool, Merseyside, England as James Larkin Jones. He was married to Evelyn Taylor. He died on April 21, 2009 in Peckham, London, England.

trade union leader; he advocated the abolition of the House of Lords. He declined Life Peerage (Barony).

81. Prince Philip

The Good Life

Prince Phillip was born on 10 June 1921 as a Prince of Greece and Denmark. His family was deposed and he lived in France and finally went to boarding school in Gordonstoun in Scotland. Eventually he sent his boys there. When he was 18 he met 13 year old Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth, his third ...

As part of House of Lords reform in 1999, Royal Family members were offered life peerages which would have given them the automatic right to sit in the House of Lords but all declined.

82. Prince Charles

Actor | Coronation Street

Prince Charles was born November 14, 1948. His first military services appointment was in 1969. His favorite food is scrambled eggs and he likes to drink whiskey. He enjoys going to Scotland, UK; Klosters, Switzerland; and the Eleuthra in the Caribbean. He enjoys hunting, shooting, fishing, polo, ...

As part of House of Lords reform in 1999, Royal Family members were offered life peerages which would have given them the automatic right to sit in the House of Lords but all declined.

83. Prince Andrew

Self | Royal Family

Prince Andrew was born on February 19, 1960 in Westminster, London, England as Andrew Albert Christian Edward Windsor. He was previously married to Sarah Ferguson.

As part of House of Lords reform in 1999, Royal Family members were offered life peerages which would have given them the automatic right to sit in the House of Lords but all declined.

84. Edward Wessex

Producer | Castle Ghosts of Scotland

Edward Wessex was born on March 10, 1964 in Westminster, London, England as Edward Anthony Richard Louis Mountbatten-Windsor. He is a producer and writer, known for Castle Ghosts of Scotland (1996), Castle Ghosts of Ireland (1996) and Tales from the Tower (2001). He has been married to Sophie ...

As part of House of Lords reform in 1999, Royal Family members were offered life peerages which would have given them the automatic right to sit in the House of Lords but all declined.

85. Duke of Gloucester

Self | A Queen Is Crowned

Duke of Gloucester was born on March 31, 1900 in Sandringham, Norfolk, England as Henry William Frederick Wettin. He was married to Duchess of Gloucester Princess Alice. He died on June 10, 1974 in Barnwell Manor, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England.

As part of House of Lords reform in 1999, Royal Family members were offered life peerages which would have given them the automatic right to sit in the House of Lords but all declined.

86. Duke of Kent

Self | Prince John: The Windsors' Tragic Secret

Duke of Kent was born on December 20, 1902 in Sandringham, Norfolk, England as George Edward Alexander Wettin. He was married to Princess Marina. He died on August 25, 1942 in Morven, Caithness, Scotland.

As part of House of Lords reform in 1999, Royal Family members were offered life peerages which would have given them the automatic right to sit in the House of Lords but all declined.

87. Frank Auerbach

Self | The Last Art Film

Frank Auerbach was born on April 29, 1931 in Berlin, Germany as Frank Helmut Auerbach. He is married to Julia Wolstenholme.

artist; declined knighthood in 2003.

88. Arnold Bennett

Writer | Battling Jane

Dorothy Cheston bore his out-of-wedlock child.

Author; declined Knighthood offered for service in running British government's French Propaganda department during World War I.

89. Danny Boyle

Director | 127 Hours

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 in Manchester, England as Daniel Boyle. He is a director and producer, known for 127 Hours (2010), 28 Days Later... (2002) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

declined knighthood in 2013.

90. Peter Brook

Director | Lord of the Flies

Born in London, Peter was educated at Westminster, and Magdalen College Oxford. He has staged numerous productions for Birmingham Rep, Stratford Upon Avon and Broadway. In 1962 he was appointed Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a position he held for 2 decades. His most famous stage ...

Declined Knighthood.

91. Francis Crick

Self | Horizon

Francis Crick was born on June 8, 1916 in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England as Francis Harry Compton Crick. He died on July 28, 2004 in San Diego, California, USA.

Declined a CBE in 1963 and Knighthood.

92. Paul Dirac

Self | Horizon

Paul Dirac was born on August 8, 1902 in Bishopton, Bristol, England as Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac. He was married to Margit Balazs. He died on October 20, 1984 in Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

Declined Knighthood in 1953 but later accepted an Order of Merit in 1973.

93. Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.

Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most ...

Declined Knighthood.

twice declined Knighthood.

95. E.M. Forster

Writer | Howards End

E.M. Forster was born on January 1, 1879 in London, England as Edward Morgan Forster. He was a writer, known for Howards End (1992), A Room with a View (1985) and The Machine Stops (2009). He died on June 7, 1970 in Coventry, Warwickshire, England.

declined knighthood in 1949 but accepted a Companion of Honor in the 1953 New Year's Honours List and Order of Merit in 1969.

96. John Galsworthy

Writer | That Forsyte Woman

John Galsworthy was born on August 14, 1867 in Kingston Hill, Surrey, England. He was a writer and actor, known for That Forsyte Woman (1949), The Stranger (1924) and One More River (1934). He was married to Ada Nemesis Pearson Cooper. He died on January 31, 1933 in Grove Lodge, Hampshire, England.

Declined Knighthood but accepted the Order of Merit in 1929.

Declined Knighthood (KBE) in 1951.

98. Thomas Hardy

Writer | Far from the Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840 in Upper Bockhampton, Dorset, England. He was a writer, known for Far from the Madding Crowd (2015), Tess (1979) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1967). He was married to Florence Emily Dugdale and Emma Lavinia Gifford. He died on January 11, 1928 in Dorchester,...

novelist; declined knighthood but accepted Order of Merit.

Declined knighthood in 1952.

100. Peter Higgs

Self | Particle Fever

Peter Higgs was born on May 29, 1929 in Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne, England as Peter Ware Higgs.

declined Knighthood but accepted CH (Companion of Honour).

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