Retired Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar to be knighted by British Empire

Lugar retired after 36 years in Senate

INDIANAPOLIS - Retired Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar will soon have a new title -- knight.

Lugar will be given the rank of honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in a ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

While only knighted British citizens carry the title of "sir," Lugar joins a prestigious set of Americans to receive the honor, including Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as well as Bill Gates, Bob Hope and Henry Kissinger.

Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England, which he often credits with sparking his interest in international relations.

"I was first inspired by (the queen's) leadership when she received me as a young Rhodes Scholar in London, 58 years ago, and asked me about Indiana," Lugar said in a statement. "I have focused my service on solving our most serious challenges in a spirit of cooperation between our countries, our allies and all people of good will. I take this appointment as encouragement to continue these endeavors."

Lugar retired after 36 years as the Senate's most senior Republican member.

British Ambassador to the United States Sir Peter Westmacott will preside over Lugar's knighting ceremony.

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