U.K. grants Bill Gates honorary knighthood

Gates given title of KBE for his contribution to enterprise, employment, and education in the U.K.

LONDON -- Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates has been awarded an honorary Knighthood by the U.K.'s Queen Elizabeth II, the U.K. government announced Monday.

Gates is being given the title KBE, or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his contribution to enterprise, employment, education and the voluntary sector in the U.K. as well as for his significant contributions to poverty reduction in parts of the Commonwealth and elsewhere in the developing world, the Foreign Office said.

Under the traditional system, Gates cannot use the title "Sir" before his name because he is not a U.K. subject, but can use KBE after his full name. Gates will receive the award at a later date, though the announcement of the honor comes the same day Gates is to give the keynote speech at the international Advancing Enterprise conference in London, which is chaired by the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.

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