From 2005 to 2020, Bob Iger ruled over the Walt Disney Company from his throne in Burbank, CA. Just like others monarchs throughout history, he expanded his borders during his reign by acquiring the surrounding kingdoms of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. He also rescued Disney’s first star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, from a rival kingdom (NBCUniversal), revitalized the company’s theme parks around the world, and refocused their approach to streaming through services like Disney+ and Hulu. And though some of his loyal subjects may have had their fair share of valid criticisms over the course of his reign, Iger was largely a benevolent ruler due to his longtime philanthropy and the positive impact that he and his company made on their worldwide audience.
In a classic case of “game recognizes game,” the late Queen Elizabeth II decided to award Iger by bestowing upon him the title of Honorary Knight of the Order of the British Empire. Approving the award prior to her death earlier this month, the official citation declared that the former Disney Chairman and CEO is being recognized for his contributions to U.K./U.S. relations. This title of KBE is the second-highest rank in the Order that can be given to a non-U.K. citizen.
However, Iger wasn’t the only legendary name from receiving the honor this year.
In addition to Bob Iger, legendary composer and conductor John Williams is also receiving the title of Honorary Knight of the Order of the British Empire this year “for services to film music.” Williams is widely regarded as one of the most influential film composers of all time. Over the course of his illustrious career, he has been nominated for 52 Academy Awards, 6 Emmys, 25 Golden Globes, and 71 Grammys. But more importantly, he’s responsible for creating the unforgettable music behind “Jurassic Park,” the Indiana Jones franchise, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” the Star Wars franchise, and many, many fan favorite films.
The Round Table
Both Iger and Williams join a venerable list of influential people being honored by the British crown this year. Other recipients include Costa Rican diplomat and international climate leader Christiania Figueres, Honorary Consul for Greater Philadelphia Oliver Franklin, chef and author Ken Hom, and US Congressman George Holding, as well as a number of medical professionals, scholars, teachers, designers, and more.
In a statement from Iger (via The Wrap), he shared how special this award is to him and how it is “one of the great honors of my life to have the honorary Knight of the British Empire conferred on me by [the Queen] before she passed.” Iger continued:
“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.”
There’s currently no word on if Iger was inspired enough to suggest a change to the Disney Legend Award to include some kind of knightly title, but we’ll be sure to update you as the story develops. In the meantime (and in all sincerity), congratulations are an order for Bob Iger, John Williams, and the rest of those being knighted this year.
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The post John Williams And Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Are Now Honorary Knights Of The British Empire appeared first on /Film.