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McCartney to join Légion d'Honneur

President Hollande to decorate 70-year-old singer-songwriter

EX-BEATLE Sir Paul McCartney is to be decorated with the Légion d'Honneur by President Hollande in a ceremony on September 8.

The singer, one of the most influential songwriters in history, was 70 this year and the honour comes just weeks after he helped close the Olympic Games in London and sang for the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee.

He is to be made an officer of the Legion of Honour, the second of the five grades, with Chevalier, Officier, Commandeur, Grand Officier and Grand Croix.

Although foreigners can receive insignia of the Légion d'Honneur they cannot become members as there is an oath swearing allegiance to France.

The order was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Since his election in May, President Hollande has been grand maître of the order and has just one entry in his official diary for September 8: Décoration de Paul McCartney.

McCartney joins the likes of Sean Connery, Miles Davis, Clint Eastwood , Duke Ellington, Gene Kelly, Liza Minelli, David Lynch, Norman Mailer, Luciano Pavarotti, Charlotte Rampling and Kristin Scott Thomas in the order.

However, former Miss France organiser Geneviève de Fontenay refused a nomination saying it was "really demeaning the ribbon to distribute to anyone... like chocolate medals".
Photo: The Admiralty

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