A Beatle and a Bee Gee are among the celebrated citizens who've been selected for knighthood and other awards given in the name of Britain's monarch. Britain's Cabinet Office publishes a list of people receiving honors for merit, service, or bravery twice a year: just before New Year's Eve, and on the Saturday in June when Queen Elizabeth II's birthday is officially observed. The New Year's list made public late Friday revealed that Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb, the oldest and last surviving brother who made up the pop group the Bee Gees, have been tapped as knights, per the AP. The process starts with nominations from the public, which first are reviewed by a specialist committee and then by a main honors committee. The nominations are then sent to the prime minister before the various honors are bestowed by the queen or senior royals.
The 77-year-old Starr, whose real name is Richard Starkey, joins fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Elton John, and Van Morrison as 1960s rock royalty honored by the queen. "It's great!" Starr said of his knighthood in a brief message Friday. "It's an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love." Meanwhile, Gibb said he was dedicating his knighthood to his late bandmates, twin brothers Robin Gibb, who died in 2012, and Maurice Gibb, who died in 2003. "I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honor," said Gibb, 71. "It is as much theirs as it is mine." Two other Brits received knighthood honors: author and playwright Michael Morpurgo and Nick Clegg, who was once leader of England's Liberal Democrats party.