Peres Awarded Honorary English Knighthood

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LONDON - Israeli President Shimon Peres wound up his visit to England in royal splendor.

On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.

As a non-British citizen, Peres will refrain from using the title "sir,"

Other foreign nationals who have received honorary knighthood include former U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, former French President Francois Mitterrand, former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani, Microsoft's Bill Gates, and U2 singer Bono.

Following the ceremony, the queen held a private audience with Peres, during which he presented her with a letter penned by her father, King George VI, acknowledging Israel's independence.

After his audience with the queen, Peres met with Prince Charles, who has yet to visit the Jewish state.

Peres also met with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who returned to England Wednesday following visits to Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

On Thursday evening, Peres dined with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife.

Peres returned to Israel Friday.

Sources: Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post

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