Because she’s the Queen of England and she gets to spend her birthday how she wants, Queen Elizabeth II recently acknowledged the contributions of more than 1,000 people to the Commonwealth Formerly Known as The British Empire on her annual Birthday Honors list. This included several pop-cultural figures, including Chiwetel Ejiofor and his Doctor Strange co-star/constipated gazelle Benedict Cumberbatch, both of whom were named Commander of the Order of the British Empire for their contributions to Drama and the Performing Arts, respectively. Eddie Redmayne received a lower rank, Officer of the Order of the British Empire, even though he was nominated for an Oscar just like the other guys were, and that’s bullshit.
Also on the honors list was Kevin Spacey, who was honored for his 10-year run as the artistic director of London’s Old Vic theater, which he probably spells “theatre” now that he’s all fancy and British. Spacey tells the BBC that he feels like “an adopted son,” adding that “I am honored and humbled by such recognition from the Queen.” You don’t have to call him “Sir,” though—Spacey was born in New Jersey, and thus can only be an honorary knight. As a matter of fact, you can’t call Cumberbatch, Redmayne, or Ejiofor “Sir,” either, as none of them received titles lofty enough to justify such a prefix. (So there.)
You do have to call Van Morrison “Sir” now, though, as he was officially “conferred the honour of Knighthood” for his contributions to the music industry and is a British citizen. (He was born in Northern Ireland.) The other 1,158 people on the list are not famous, and were honored for boring things like academic achievement and public service, so we don‘t care about them.