Legendary British guitarist Brian May was knighted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. The founding member of rock band Queen has been recognized for his “services to music and charity.”
The musician described the ceremony as a “pleasant moment” saying that receiving this honor was a “very good feeling.” May added that he and the monarch, who was a year her junior at 74, joked about their age: “He was wondering if my knees were holding up during the kneeling portion of the ceremony. I said, ‘Yeah, pretty much’.”
The musician, who is also an astrophysicist, has already been to Buckingham Palace. In 2005 May was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2002, he played a guitar rendition of Britain’s national anthem, “God Save the Queen”, from the roof of the Royal Residence for Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. He also performed at the late monarch’s platinum jubilee 20 years later.
May is also an animal rights activist, serving as Vice President of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals since 2012. He has led campaigns against fox hunting and badger culling in the UK.
Queen was founded in 1970 by May, with frontman Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor. The group has released 15 albums, with several platinum records and world-famous hits including Another One Bites the Dust, The Show Must Go On and Don’t Stop Me Now. Their powerful anthems We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions have become staples at sporting events. Queen also provided the soundtracks for the 1980 space opera Flash Gordon and the 1986 cult classic Highlander.
Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury died in 1991, but May and Taylor have kept the band going to this day. On the band’s future, May told reporters: “We’re thinking about a tour, I can say…I’m hoping to stay healthy – at the moment I seem to be in pretty good health, which is always great.”
May suffered a minor heart attack in 2020 and tested positive for Covid-19 a year later, but has maintained her live performances, most recently with the Rhapsody Tour in 2019-22.
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