David Cameron is also in this fortnight’s Private Eye because of this picture, which shows him bowing his head to receive a medal from the king of Saudi Arabia.
The Eye points out that this isn’t any old decoration, but the sash of the Order of King Abdulaziz. Cameron was given it for ‘meritorious services to the kingdom’. The Eye adds rhetorically ‘why?’
Cameron’s acceptance of the award is illegal. British citizens are explicitly forbidden to receive foreign awards without the permission of the reigning monarch. This goes back as far 1595, when Queen Elizabeth I threw Sir Thomas Arundel in the Tower for two years after the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II, made him a count. Exceptions can be made to this rule, but they don’t apply to Cameron. Winston Churchill, it is true, also garnered medals and awards from the other Allied countries during the Second World War…
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