Making history, Ralph Lauren became the first American designer to receive an Honorary Knighthood of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) for his services to fashion today. The designer was presented the honor by Prince Charles in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Mr. Lauren joins the ranks of other notable Americans, including former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, Angelina Jolie, Steven Spielberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, in receiving the prestigious KBE. Just last month, BAZAAR's editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey was also presented with the accolade.
Ralph Lauren in London
The news of Lauren's knighthood first broke in November 2018, following a milestone year for the designer who celebrated the 50th anniversary of his eponymous fashion brand with a star-studded runway show and bash.
Along with his five-decade career in fashion (in which he has dressed royals including Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle), Lauren has also made strides with his philanthropic work both in the U.S. and the U.K.
For years, the Ralph Lauren Corporation has worked towards helping cancer patients and funding cancer research by establishing the NinaHyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care in Harlem, New York. In London, the fashion brand helped fund The Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research, which opened at The Royal Marsden in 2016.
Meghan Markle in Ralph Lauren at Wimbledon in July 2018.
This is just the latest in the designer's long list of accolades. Previously, he's won CFDA Awards for Womenswear and Menswear Designer of the Year, Retailer of the Year, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, and the CFDA’s first-ever American Fashion Legend Award. Across the pond, he's been recognized for his Outstanding Achievement by the British Fashion Council at the British Fashion Awards.