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Gates to receive honorary knighthood

Gates to receive honorary knighthood

Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates will be awarded an honorary knighthood today by the Queen for his outstanding contribution to enterprise.

Gates, the world's wealthiest man, will receive the award at Buckingham Palace.

He will become a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an honour that dates back to 1917, although monarchs have been creating knights for hundreds of years.

Among the pomp and grandeur of the formal staterooms at the palace, Gates will kneel in front of the sovereign, who will gently tap him on the shoulder with a sword.

Britons and citizens of the Commonwealth are entitled to add the title "Sir" in front of their names, but that honour does not extend to other nationalities.

When it was announced last year that Gates was to be knighted, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw paid tribute to him.

"(Gates) is one of the most important business leaders of his age," he said. "Microsoft technology has transformed business practices and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy."

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