Daniel Craig is a British icon, but has he ever been officially knighted?
No, Daniel Craig is not a knight. But while Daniel has not been knighted, his most famous character James Bond was almost knighted – refusing it at the last minute. People often confuse the character with the actor, because other Bond actors in the past have received similar honors.
Read on to learn more about the Bond and the actors who have played him!
What is a Knighthood?
Knighthood is an honor rewarded by the British monarchy to notable citizens. Knighthoods have been common since 1917, when King George V established the Order of the British Empire as a means to honor both civilians and soldiers during the war. The Order was soon extended to include peacetime achievements as well. Out of the five ranks in the order, the first two allow you to use ‘sir; or ‘dame’ before your name. The others are post-nominal. Non-British citizens may receive honorary knighthoods as well.
The reigning monarch, along with some top level government officials, decide who gets a knighthood. In today’s modern world, knighthoods are generally awarded to people who make a “substantial service and cultural contribution to the British realm.” People who are offered knighthood may decline it – for instance, rumor has it that David Bowie, of all people, turned down a knighthood offer not once, but twice!
James Bond Refused to be ‘Sir’ James Bond
First things first, it is unlikely that a secret agent could be knighted without having to publicly reveal his identity and his connection to the government. Even in the fictional Bond universe, there would need to be some secrecy regarding the affair – if Bond was knighted there would be no official records at the palace.
That being said, Bond refuses knighthood from M at the end of the novel The Man with the Golden Gun, saying “I just refuse to call myself Sir James Bond. I’d laugh at myself every time I looked in the mirror to shave.” Since the films do stay faithful to the books, for the most part, we are unlikely to see Sir James Bond onscreen.
Daniel Craig has not been knighted, but there were some rumors of his Bond being knighted in 2012 when Daniel participated in the Queen’s entry into the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, which took place in London. There was some filming done at the Palace, and some film crew was spotted there with Daniel. Judi Dench was there as well; she plays M. the speculation surrounding all of this was that perhaps Bond would be knighted when opening the Games. The Palace neither confirmed nor denied these reports, but we know now that Bond was not knighted that day.
Other Bond Actors Have Been Knighted
Some previous Bond actors have been knighted to date. Sean Connery, who appears in Never Say Never Again, is now Sir Thomas Sean Connery KBE. He was knighted by the Queen in 2000, and the KBE means that he is a Knight Bachelor. He received this honor for “his dramatic roles and service to the benefit of the British film industry.”
Similarly, Roger Moore, who appears in Live and Let Die, is now Roger Moore KBE. The title is similar, but since he was also named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1999, he may not use sir with his name – he can use the CBE after their name. He was further knighted to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003 – hence the post-nominal KBE – for his charity work.
Pierce Brosnan, who appears in GoldenEye, was also awarded an Honorary OBE for “services to Drama and the British film industry.” The OBE means Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and it was honorary for him since he is not an English citizen; he is Irish. Thus, he can only use the post-nominal OBE and not ‘sir’ before his name.