Knighthood for former Indiana Sen. Lugar but don’t call him ‘sir’

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(CNN) — Last year Indiana Republicans said no to Sen. Richard Lugar. Now the former six-term senator will join a club that includes only a handful of other former senators.

Tuesday evening Lugar will attend a ceremony at the British Embassy in the nation’s capital, where he’ll be bestowed the rank of honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Lugar says he’s honored to be knighted.

“I will focus my service on solving our most serious challenges in a spirit of cooperation between our countries,” he said in a statement Monday. He added that he was first inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s leadership when she received him as a young Rhodes scholar in London nearly six decades ago.

Although he’s being knighted, don’t call Lugar “Sir.” He won’t hold the title, which is exclusive to subjects of the Queen.

Lugar, who was a leading Republican on matters of international affairs, twice served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his nearly four decades in the chamber. Last year he was defeated in Indiana’s GOP Senate primary as he bid for re-election.

Lugar joins former senators George Mitchell of Maine, John Warner of Virginia and the late Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts as senators who were knighted.

Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were also knighted, as well as Bill Gates, Rev. Billy Graham, Alan Greenspan, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Bob Hope and Henry Kissinger.

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