Sir David Attenborough awarded prestigious second knighthood

Veteran broadcaster recognised for his unstinting environmental efforts, more than three decades after he was first knighted

Sir David Attenborough smiles on the lawn of Windsor Castle after being appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George. Getty
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Environmentalist Sir David Attenborough was on Wednesday awarded his second knighthood, more than three decades after he was first knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1985.

Second-time-round, the wildlife filmmaker, 96, collected the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George from the queen's son, the nature-loving Prince Charles, in a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The more prestigious knighthood was awarded for Sir David's services to television broadcasting and to conservation and comes after he featured in a segment of the Platinum Party at the Palace, the platinum jubilee concert held outside Buckingham Palace in London on Saturday.

As Prince William highlighted the efforts of "visionary environmentalists", a clip of Sir David was projected on to Buckingham Palace.

The broadcaster's career spans seven decades and he is a member of the Earthshot Prize council, an initiative launched by the Duke of Cambridge to find solutions to environmental issues.

In April Sir David was named a UN Champion of the Earth in recognition of his commitment to sharing stories about the natural world and climate change.

Speaking at the time, he exhorted the world to coalesce to tackle the threat from climate change.

“Fifty years ago, whales were on the very edge of extinction worldwide,” he said. "Then people got together and now there are more whales in the sea than any living human being has ever seen.

“We know what the problems are and we know how to solve them. All we lack is unified action.”

While Sir David was the star of the show at Wednesday's investiture ceremony, he wasn't the only big hitter on the bill.

Prof Sir Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, was to receive his knighthood for services to public health, particularly during the Covid pandemic, while actor Toby Jones was to be made an OBE for services to drama.

Spy chief Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, was also due to receive his knighthood after he was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to national security.

Gary Lightbody, lead singer of rock band Snow Patrol, was made an OBE for services to music and to charity in Northern Ireland.

Updated: June 08, 2022, 1:55 PM