The time David Bowie turned the Queen

David Bowie, who has died at the age of 69, displayed his characteristic rebellious streak when he twice refused honours from the Queen during his career.

In 2000, the pop star turned down the offer of a CBE, or Commander of the Order of the British Empire title, which the Queen awards to those who have made “a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area” of British life.

Whilst many would have been flattered by the honour, Bowie snubbed the award, explaining at the time: “I seriously don’t know what it’s for.”

In 2003, the musician was also offered a knighthood in recognition of “having a major contribution” to British life which was “inspirational and significant… over a long period of time.”

He again refused the honour.