Queen Frowns on An­tiguan Knighthood ‘mas­quer­ade!’

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

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.

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