Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

List of honours rebels published

Roald Dahl rejected an OBE in the 1986 New Year's Honours

The author Roald Dahl and artist Lucian Freud are among more than 250 people who turned down honours from the Queen between 1951 and 1999, according to official government records.

Painters Francis Bacon and LS Lowry, the sculptor Henry Moore and novelist Aldous Huxley are also named in the list published by the Cabinet Office.

The document, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, names a total of 277 individuals who refused prestigious accolades over the 48-year period and have since died.

The Cabinet Office was ordered to release the information by the The Information Commissioner's Office.

It is believed to be the first official confirmation that hundreds of people have snubbed OBEs, CBEs and knighthoods in the annual New Year or Birthday Honours list.

News of people refusing an honour normally only comes to light if they volunteer the information themselves or reports are leaked.

According to the list, Lowry turned down more honours than anybody else, with a total of five, including an OBE in 1955, a CBE in 1961 and a knighthood in 1968.

Bacon turned down a CBE in 1960, while Freud refused the honour in the 1977 New Year's Honours list.

Dahl, who rejected an OBE in the 1986 New Year's Honours, was among a number of writers who snubbed the accolade including Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis, who turned down a CBE in 1952.

Film director Sir Alfred Hitchcock turned down a CBE in 1962, but went on to accept a knighthood from the Queen four months before his death in 1980.

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