On Wednesday, Elton John, who is already a British knight, received yet another prestigious honor during a ceremony at Windsor Castle. Prince Charles presented him with the Order of the Companions of Honour, which was first established in 1917 to reward for "outstanding achievement."
As The Evening Standard reports, Elton attended the ceremony walking with the aid of a cane, following the hip surgery that forced him to postpone his European tour. He received his award not just for his 50-year music career, but also for his work with his Elton John AIDS Foundation.
"I was quite taken aback when I got the letter to say that I'd received it because I know...very few people get it,' he told the press. "I felt very proud to be British. I felt very blessed and very lucky. I've had an amazing life. Music has been my life and I got this for music and for work for charity."
"I may not look as if I'm 100 percent fit...I'm not quite, but I'm still raring to go," Elton continued. "And I've got a lot more work to do as far as my life goes, so this is just a reminder I think that there's more to do: more work to do for music, more work to do for charity, and life is great. I'm so lucky."
To that end, Sky News reports that Elton said he feels that ending AIDS by 2030 is "doable," adding, "We have the medicines, we have the wherewithal...we need to stop the stigma, and so when I stop touring in 2023, I will hopefully be able to devote more time to this than I can at the moment."
He added, "This is something that I desperately want to finish off."
Paul McCartney, Judi Dench, Ian McKellan and J.K. Rowling are other celebrities who've been honored with the Order.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.