Knight them all!

Murray’s fantastic Wimbledon win at the weekend has seen the question of Knighthoods resurface. Personally, it is beyond me why he would even be nominated.

131952034_murray-ki_429763b (Photo credit: The Times)

According to the official website of the British Monarchy, ‘While in past centuries knighthood used to be awarded solely for military merit, today it recognises significant contributions to national life.’
Perhaps it could be argued that the fact that the competition final alone was watched by somewhere near 18 million people, the chances are high that many people will be inspired to take up tennis. If tennis fever does sweep the nation, that is, of course, something to celebrate. And if national patriotism comes out of the win, that is an added bonus.
Nevertheless, the reward for winning Wimbledon is winning Wimbledon. Knighthoods should be awarded to people whose actions have greatly impacted upon the nation over a considerable time, or have made a huge difference to the world. Unfortunately, the title has degenerated into something meaningless, where winning is enough to almost guarantee an honour. Murray is no more deserving of a Knighthood than many others who already possess the title. Unfortunately the precedent has already been set with Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, to name but a couple; we might as well start dishing them out to anyone British who wins a medal, or perhaps give a few away in selected Kinder Surprises.

By no means am I taking Murray’s fantastic achievement away from him. His dedication, determination and skill are obvious factors which contributed to his deserved win. Having said that, he was doing his job. He was winning for himself, not for Britain. The criticism is therefore directed towards our government. I find it embarrassing that our British Prime Minister cannot ‘think of anyone who deserves it (a Knighthood) more’. What an insult to all the charity workers and other unrecognised heroes in Britain who contribute significantly to national life on a daily basis. Shame on you, David Cameron.

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2 thoughts on “Knight them all!

  1. Miss Mozzarella (if that is your real name),

    Knighthoods must, like royalty itself, adapt to the age in which they live. While they may have become ‘meaningless’, if they ever had any real meaning, triumph in sport has quite simply become one of the very many ways one can be honored by your Queen (not mine). Take for example the Beatles, all of whom received their MBEs in 1965 at the height of their popularity (thank you wikipedia) for simply writing and performing music. If you watch the reaction of Murray to losing the final last year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj8QW1emhuw it is not only clear how responsible he feels to the British people in general, especially at their premier tennis tournament, but how much support the country has given him. To follow that defeat weeks later with a Gold Medal as the country hosted the Olympics and then to win that tournament the next year as the first British male in 77 years, I believe represents a ‘significant contribution to national life’. If you add into this the charity work he has done in his hometown of Dunblane and elsewhere http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358153/Will-Andy-Murray-donate-Wimbledon-prize-money-Royal-Marsden-Cancer-Charity.html it seems that indeed few are as deserving.

    • Hi Rowan,

      I agree that things have to move with the times, but I don’t agree with Knighting anyone after a couple of sporting achievements. Perhaps, at the end of their careers, they could be awarded with a Knighthood for services to sport and for all their great achievements. Fred Perry achieved the same win at Wimbledon 77 years ago, and was never Knighted for the achievement.
      The suggestion that Andy Murray be knighted for winning Wimbledon seems a little ridiculous to me; recognising his charitable efforts would make more sense, not just because he has won a Grand Slam.
      I completely agree that the Beatles simply ‘wrote and performed music’ and also don’t agree that they should have been honoured for doing so. It was also their job and they achieved much fame and popularity through it; there was no reason, as far as I can see, to give them such an honour.

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