Wearing a black leather coat, scarf and “rock and roll” trainers instead of the more formal top hat and tails, Jagger, 60, breezed on Friday into the palace to finally collect the accolade for his services to music.
“It is very nice to have honours given to you as long as you do not take it all too seriously,” Jagger said after the ceremony. “You should wear them lightly and not get carried away with your own self-importance.”
Also present at the palace were Sir Mick’s 92-year-old father Joe, and daughters Karis, 32, and Elizabeth, 19. The knighthood was announced almost 18 months ago, but was delayed due to Jagger’s touring commitments.
Queen Elizabeth awards such titles twice a year on the recommendation of the prime minister to citizens in recognition of exceptional achievements or services to Britain.
But the queen was undergoing a knee operation and also had
facial lesions removed, so the heir to the throne, her eldest son Charles, did the honours.
The idea of a titled tearaway Jagger caused some wry comments in the media and some strong criticism from one particular friend.
Jagger poses for photographs
Stones guitarist Keith Richards, a pal of Jagger since childhood, responded scathingly to news of the award. He told Uncut magazine: “I thought it was ludicrous to take one of those gongs (medals) from the Establishment when they did their very best to throw us in jail.
“I do not want to step out on stage with someone wearing a f…ing coronet and sporting the old ermine. I told Mick, ‘It is a f…ing paltry honour’.”
Responding to Richards after the ceremony, Sir Mick said: “I think he would probably like to get the same honour himself.” “It is like being given an ice cream – one gets one and they all want one.”
“It is nothing new. Keith likes to make a fuss.” Michael Philip Jagger set up the Rolling Stones with Richards while still a student.
In 1962, Jagger and Richards hooked up with another guitarist, the late Brian Jones, and the three began playing gigs around London, releasing their first album, “The Rolling Stones”, the following year.
By 1965, with “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” and its subsequent success in the United States, Jagger, the man with the surly demeanour, rubber lips and a scarecrow body, had hit the big time.
While all band members have caused headlines — Jones was found dead in a swimming pool in 1969, Keith Richards was arrested for heroin possession in 1977 – it is the indefatigable Jagger whose provocative nature has always carried the band.