Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates was awarded an honorary knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday for his outstanding contribution to enterprise and for his charitable activities.

Gates, the world's wealthiest man, received the award from the queen in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

He becomes a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an honor that dates back to 1917, though monarchs have been creating knights for hundreds of years.

"I am humbled and delighted," Gates said in a statement. "I'm particularly pleased that this honor helps recognize the real heroes our foundation supports to improve health in poor countries."

Britons and citizens of the Commonwealth are entitled to add the title "Sir" in front of their names, but that honor does not extend to other nationalities.

When it was announced last year that Gates was to be knighted, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw paid tribute to him.

"(Gates) is one of the most important business leaders of his age," he said. "Microsoft technology has transformed business practices, and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy."


Why do you say 'his age' ?

If he is 35 today, he is the most important businessman today who are 35 years of age.

If I am an idiot, would you say he is the best idiot of his age?

"(Gates) is one of the most important business leaders of his time," he said.
Quite funny. This is "age" as in "time in which one lives," not the number of years he's lived.


" The period of history during which a person lives: a product of his age."
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