Originally Posted by YoungFogey
This is ridiculous. I believe that Churchill was honoured with the Congressional Medal of Honour (or was it the Medal of Freedom? One of the two). Should he have rejected it?
The highest gong bestowed upon non-Commonwealth nationals is the Knight of the British Empire. I believe that Manton is correct that it does not permit you to actually be called "Sir". However the Consitution prohibits only persons "holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States]" from accepting presents, emoluments or titles from foreign powers without the consent of the Congress. Therefore, Manton could accept such an honour.
Ridiculous is it? It's up to Mr. Churchill's own conscience to decide whether he should accept such an award or not. But, as far as I know American award ceremonies do not require one to kneel before any kind of monarch. Personally, there is no monarch in the world that I would kneel in front of to receive any kind of honor, award, or title.
And in case you are curious, yes, a recipient of an honorary knighthood, including a recipient of the title of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which is the honor bestowed upon non-Commonwealth nationals, is required to kneel before the Queen during the ceremony. I'll pass, thank you.
EDIT: Actually, upon further research, I've discovered that they don't "have" to kneel, but can if they want to. Nevertheless, there is something about the whole thing that rubs me the wrong way.