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The honor grants both entertainment titans with the title of KBE, which is more formally known as Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Sept. 7 at the age of 96, Iger and Williams are just two among a larger 2022 class of approved honorary British awards.
Iger, who received his honor as part of his contributions to U.S.-U.K. relations, remembered the queen and her “extraordinary life and service” in a statement.
“It is truly special and one of the great honors of my life to have the honorary Knight of the British Empire conferred on me by her before she passed,” he continued. “Our two nations share a strong bond, which I have seen up close over many years through my deep personal and professional connections to the United Kingdom. I have great affection for the people of the UK, and have always appreciated and been inspired by their extraordinary contributions, particularly in the creative arts.”
Williams was honored separately for his services to film music. The KBE honor is typically given to non-Britons who have made important contributions to the relations between Britain and their own country.
Iger led the Walt Disney Company for 15 years between 2005 and 2020, serving as the chief executive officer as well as the chairman of the board and executive chairman. Williams, a legendary, award-winning composer and conductor has frequently collaborated with Steven Spielberg, and worked on a number of iconic Hollywood scores beyond Star Wars including Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones.
The honors make Iger and Williams among the last people to receive the honor from the late queen. Previous recent recipients include Bono, Ralph Lauren and Rod Stewart.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Williams’ reps for comment.
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