UK’s King Charles Elevates British Indian Medic Lord Kakkar Among Top Personal Honours

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London, United Kingdom (UK)

Lord Kakkar, 59, has been chosen for one of the country’s oldest ceremonial orders in the gift of the British monarch to honour outstanding public service. (@Coronation2023/X)

King Charles III confers top honours, knightships to Lord Ajay Kumar Kakkar and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace

Britain’s King Charles III on Tuesday unveiled a set of top royal honours, elevating senior British Indian medic Lord Ajay Kumar Kakkar and musician Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber as his new Knight Companions of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

Lord Kakkar, 59, has been chosen for one of the country’s oldest ceremonial orders in the gift of the British monarch to honour outstanding public service and achievement, made without prime ministerial advice as is the case with other annual royal honours. The 75-year-old monarch, who has cut back on his public-facing duties while undergoing cancer treatment, has expanded the number of his royal companions to 21 – out of a maximum of 24 – with the latest set of additions.

Who is Lord Kakkar?

“Ajay Kumar Kakkar, Baron Kakkar of Loxbeare, studied medicine at King’s College London before receiving his PhD from Imperial College London, and has focused his medical career on the prevention and treatment of venous and arterial thromboembolic disease, and cancer associated thrombosis,” reads a citation issued with the announcement by Buckingham Palace.

“Lord Kakkar is President of the Thrombosis Research Institute, Chairman of King’s Health Partners and Chairman of The King’s Fund, a charitable healthcare organisation of which His Majesty [King Charles], when Prince of Wales, served as President. He is also Chairman of the Royal Commission for the 1851 Great Exhibition and of UK Biobank,” it notes. In the 2022 New Year Honours conferred by Charles’ mother – the late Queen Elizabeth II, Kakkar was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to healthcare and public service.

Highlights of his career

Among other highlights of his distinguished career include being elected Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1992, serving as Chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission (2013-2018) and the Judicial Appointments Commission (2016-2022). Since last year, Kakkar has been Chancellor of the University of Lincoln and is also an Emeritus Professor of Surgery at University College London. Each year, the monarch’s Order of the Garter is celebrated with a procession and service in the grounds of Windsor Castle and the palace said that this year’s Garter Service will take place at St. George’s Chapel in the coming months.

“Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lord-Webber of Sydmonton, is the UK’s most successful living composer, having written the scores of some of the world’s most famous musicals – including ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Cats’, ‘Evita’ and ‘Sunset Boulevard’. He is one of the select group of globally-renowned artists who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award,” reads the citation of Lord Webber, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992.

Air Chief Marshal the Lord (Stuart William) Peach has also been appointed to the Garter, with Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, named Royal Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. While Lord Peach carried the Sword of Mercy at the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla in May last year, the Duchess has been recognised as a full-time working member of the royal family.

There are also a number of family honours conferred by King Charles, who makes his son and heir, Prince William, the Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath. According to the palace, this order was established by King George I in 1725, although it is believed to originally date back as far as the eighth century.

“It is awarded to members of the military or civil service for exemplary service,” it notes. William’s wife Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has been made a Royal Companion of The Order of the Companions of Honour – founded by King George V in 1917 to recognise outstanding achievements in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Public Service. Meanwhile, the King’s wife, Queen Camilla, becomes Grand Master and First or Principal Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – established by King George V in 1917 to honour a broader cross section of society, both military and civilian.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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