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Queen guitarist Brian May is now a knight

<i>Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images</i><br/>Queen's Freddie Mercury and Brian May in the 1970s.
Michael Ochs Archives
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Queen's Freddie Mercury and Brian May in the 1970s.

By Zoe Sottile, CNN

Queen guitarist Brian May has received a knighthood in honor of his services to music and charity.

May, 75, was one of over 1,000 people honored on King Charles III’s first honors list since the monarch took the throne. The end-of-year list also includes fashion designer Mary Quant and Ghanaian-British artist John Akomfrah.

The 2023 list of honors was published in The Gazette, the official newspaper published by the British royal family, on Friday.

May received the title of Knight Bachelor for his “services to Music and to Charity.” The notice described him as a “Musician, Songwriter and Animal Welfare Advocate.”

“Thank you so much for all your messages of congratulations following the announcement of my knighthood,” said the guitarist in a video posted to Instagram on Friday. “I’m very thrilled and very touched by the love that’s come from you and the support. I will do my very best to be worthy.”

In addition to performing with Queen since the 1970s, May is also an astrophysicist. He received his PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London in 2007 after taking a break from his studies in the 1970s to focus on Queen.

May is also a vocal supporter of animal rights and critic of hunting. He formed an organization called Save Me in 2010 to campaign against fox hunting and badger culling in the UK.

May isn’t the only member of Queen to receive a royal title. Drummer Roger Taylor was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2020. May previously received the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2005.

May famously performed a rendition of “God Save the Queen” from the roof of Buckingham Palace at Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Twenty years later, he also performed with Queen for the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee Concert.

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