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Guides: Honours

Last Updated: Friday November 28 2003 13:56 GMT

Does everyone want one?

Not everyone is happy to hear they are receiving an honour. In fact several people have turned them down.

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah said he didn't want his OBE in 2003. A lot of his poetry is about overcoming the problems caused by the British Empire - so the honour was not very welcome, this is what he said:

"I have been fighting against the legacy of empire all my life... Anybody who has thought of giving me this OBE can't have read my work."

Singer John Lennon from the Beatles did accept his award of an MBE in 1965 but he later posted it back to the Queen saying that he wasn't happy about Britain supporting an American war in Vietnam.

Guide to Honours

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