Queen Frowns on Antiguan Knighthood ‘masquerade!’
Arecent item in the UK Daily Mail: “The new political head of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, has become entangled in an extraordinary row over abuse of the honours system. A Mail on Sunday investigation has discovered that the former Labour Cabinet Minister was involved in Anthony Bailey obtaining an honour from Antigua, which he is now abusing to masquerade as a knight in the UK. Baroness Scotland and Bailey, who has described her as ‘a dear friend’, collaborated on the charitable work that earned him the honour, an Antiguan knighthood. But he has insisted on being called ‘Sir’ in the UK, flouting convention and angering Buckingham Palace, which has ordered him to stop giving the impression of being a British knight.”
According to the Mail: “Prince Charles and David Cameron are among those who have been effectively duped into wrongly referring to him as ‘Sir Anthony’. Two of his associates, who received their knighthoods at the same time, have had their honours revoked pending an investigation. Bailey received the honour following an investment of over a million pounds in schools and church programmes from a charity of which both he and Baroness Scotland were senior members.” Dominican-born Baroness Scotland was elected political head of the Commonwealth in 2015.
Last year the Saint Lucia government started bestowing its own knighthoods on prominent citizens. Nobel laureate Derek Walcott and former prime minister Vaughan Lewis were the first recipients. It is unclear whether locally knighted individuals are to be referred to as ‘Sir,’ as are nationals who were knighted by the Queen. All efforts at receiving a comment from the foreign affairs ministry proved futile.