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SIR MICHAEL; Keith's just jealous of my knighthood..he's like a bawling child without an ice-cream.

Byline: GRAHAM DIGGINES

MICK Jagger was knighted yesterday - and joked that fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards was jealous of the award.

After being dubbed by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, the 60-year-old rocker said: "I suppose people will call me Sir Mick. But Sir Michael has a nice ring to it."

Then, in a jibe at Keith who has accused him of "selling out", he grinned: "I think Keith would probably like to get the same honour.

"He's like a bawling child who hasn't got an ice cream. It's nothing new. Keith likes to make a fuss.

"It's very nice to have honours as long as you don't take them too seriously. You should wear them lightly and not get carried away with your own self-importance."

Forty years ago Sir Mick and his band were the scourge of the Establishment, seen as a danger to youth and a menace to morals.

Yesterday the only sign of that old rebellion was that Sir Mick shunned formal morning dress for a black suit with leather lapels, black silk tie and black suede and leather trainers. As he walked into the palace ballroom he was announced by Master of the Royal Household Vice Admiral Tom Blackburn as "Sir Michael Jagger", receiving a knighthood for services to popular music.

The soon-to-be Sir Mick bowed his head to Charles, knelt, and was touched lightly on each shoulder with the Investiture Sword before shaking hands with the prince.

Meanwhile the Scots Guards orchestra played a gentle selection of Handel and Schubert, a far cry from the Stones' repertoire which includes Their Satanic Majesties' Request and Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!

After the ceremony Sir Mick smiled at his father Joe, 92, and daughters Karis, 32, and Elizabeth, 19, who were watching proudly.

Later, he said: "I'm fine, I don't get nervous - it's exhilaration. I know the prince fairly well. He thanked me for supporting the Prince's Trust and we had a little chat."

Asked if receiving a knighthood ran against his anti-Establishment past, he said: "I don't think the Establishment as we knew it then exists any more."

Mick's brother, Christopher, asked him if he would now have to call him "Sir". "Only occasionally," came the reply. It was enough to make poor old Keith - 60 next week - get strung out in despair.

The unreconstructed wild man of rock has said: "I don't want to step out on stage with someone wearing a f***ing coronet and sporting the old ermine." Former Dartford Grammar School pupil Mick ditched a degree course at the London School of Economics in 1962 to form the Stones with Keith, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones.

He is now a multi-millionaire. His daughter Jade was born to mum Bianca, and Karis, also 32, to Marsha Hunt. Sir Mick also has two sons, James, 18, and Gabriel, six, and two daughters, Elizabeth, 19, and Georgia, 11, by model Jerry Hall.

Fellow oldies Gerry Marsden, 61, of Gerry And The Pacemakers, and Gary Brooker, 58, of Procul Harum, received MBEs for charity work.

Gerry said: "The prince said it was nice to see three old singers back. I said 'Not so much of the old, Sir' - then he hit me." Painter Elizabeth Blackadder was made a Dame Commander and broadcaster John Tusa a Knight Bachelor.

Film Classification chief Andreas Whittam Smith received the CBE.

CAPTION(S):

STONE ME! Sir Mick with his father and daughters Karis and Elizabeth yesterday; SOLE BROTHER: Sir Mick's trainers; Picture: MIKEMOORE
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 13, 2003
Words:583
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