Camelot finally has itself a knight. During a joint session before Congress this morning, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the Queen of England has bestowed Ted Kennedy with an honorary knighthood. Brown took the opportunity to single out the ailing Massachusetts Senator's services to British-American relations, especially his involvement in helping to bring about Northern Ireland's 1998 Good Friday Peace Accord.
"Northern Ireland today is at peace, more Americans have health care, children around the world are going to school," Brown said. "And for all these things, we owe a great debt to the life, and courage, of Senator Edward Kennedy." With this honor, the "Lion of the Senate" is entering elite company. Less than 100 Americans have received honorary knighthood since Queen Elizabeth II was coronated in 1953.
Notable Americans who have achieved knighthood include Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Tommy Franks, Rudolph Giuliani, Henry Kissinger, Bob Hope, Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates. Last month, the British Embassy announced that former senator John Warner of Virginia would also be named a "Knight of the British Empire."