Former UK PM Tony Blair is now 'Sir Tony' with Queen's Knighthood, joins top royal order
The nominations are made at the discretion of the Queen, who can appoint up to 24 "knight and lady companions."
The Order of the Garter, England's oldest and most senior order of chivalry, has inducted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Baroness Amos. According to the BBC, the former prime minister will now be recognised as 'Sir Tony.' The nominations are made at the discretion of the Queen, who can appoint up to 24 "knight and lady companions." In 2005, she knighted former Conservative Prime Minister John Major. Baroness Amos, a former Labour cabinet minister, is the order's first black member.
Blair is elevated to the rank of Sir Tony on January 1 when he joined the order as a "knight companion." He described his time as prime minister as a "wonderful honour." He added, "I would like to thank all those who served with me, in politics, public service, and other areas of our society, for their devotion and commitment to our nation." Sir Tony led his party to a resounding victory in 1997, and he went on to win two more general elections. He served for ten years before stepping down and delegating authority to his chancellor, Gordon Brown. The UK joined the US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan under Sir Tony's leadership; an official report into the 2003 Iraq war was harshly critical of his administration and UK military officers.
Chris Whitty, the UK government's senior medical advisor, and England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam were knighted in the central New Year's Honours list.
The Queen's customary yearly honours recognise the achievements and contributions of persons from many walks of life, including a small number from Hollywood, sport, and politics. The ceremonial order, created in 1348, is a reward of outstanding public service granted without the prime minister's approval.