Filed at 11:46 a.m. ET
DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) — Irish rock star and global humanitarian Bono became a knight of the British empire Thursday — and joked that his youngest son thought he was about to become a Jedi instead.
Bono, 46, was named a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in an informal, laugh-filled ceremony in the Dublin home of British Ambassador David Reddaway.
“You have permission to call me anything you want — except sir, all right? Lord of lords, your demigodness, that’ll do,” he told reporters afterward.
Because he is an Irish citizen, Bono won’t have the title of “sir” before his name. That honor is reserved for citizens of the United Kingdom or British Commonwealth countries. Ireland left the Commonwealth when it became a republic in 1949.
Reddaway paid tribute to Bono’s work as a campaigner against poverty and disease in Africa — but first asked whether he was disappointed that becoming a knight no longer involves a sword or kneeling.
“Please, I wasn’t expecting you to kneel,” said Bono, his hand on the ambassador’s shoulder.
Accompanying the rocker were his wife, Ali, and their four children — Jordan, 17; Eve, 15; Elijah, 7; and John, 5. U2 guitarist The Edge and bassist Adam Clayton also attended.
John was disappointed that his dad wasn’t presented with a light saber, said Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson. “He thought I was becoming a Jedi.”
Bono sported lapel pins for two of his previous European government awards, the Legion d’Honneur from France and the Order of Liberty from Portugal.
Such official accolades “really help me get through a few doors I wouldn’t get through. And that’s the truth, that’s the way the world is,” he said.