» Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Ellen MacArthur

Asked what the thinking behind the timing of Ellen MacArthur’s damehood was, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said the precedent had been set by Sir Francis Chichester in 1967 when he completed his circumnavigation of the world. The Honours Committee decided the honour in the normal manner, and Her Majesty was pleased to bestow the honour to Ellen MacArthur.

PA added that The Queen knighted Sir Francis Chichester with a sword that had been used to knight Sir Francis Drake when he arrived back in 1967. The PMOS expressed admiration at PA’s collective memory bank.

Asked when Ellen MacArthur found out about her damehood, the PMOS said last night.

Asked when the Honours Committee had decided to give Ellen MacArthur a damehood, the PMOS said we did not brief on the Honour’s Committee’s deliberations, but he pointed out that the trip lasted 71 days, so it was not as if the issue had come from nowhere.

Asked if the honour was contingent with Ellen MacArthur breaking the record, the PMOS said this was going into the territory of the Honours Committee decision, so could not comment. However, he did say that everyone was "very very pleased" that she had broken the record.

Asked if she was the youngest person to be made a Dame, the PMOS said she was.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news


  1. So, if I sail around the world single handed I will become Sir Charles Pooter?

    It’s out of order, I’ve almost saved up my \xA3500,000 Labour donation to get one. I had planned to get dubbed, grass myself up and get them to give me the money back. Now I shall have money left over to buy a couple of Tory peerages. I hear they are going cheap but there’s a longer wait.

    Comment by Mr Pooter — 10 Feb 2005 on 10:43 am | Link
  2. you’d probably drown, anyhow I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Comment by Colonel Mad — 10 Feb 2005 on 11:43 pm | Link
  3. Newsflash: Francis Drake didn’t arrive back in 1967. Francis Chichester did – over two months after he’d been given the knighthood.

    In any case, the sword involved was the one that Elizabeth I *gave* to Francis Drake – see <a href="http://www.gileschichestermep.org.uk/francis-chichester_cv.htm.">http://www.gileschichestermep.org.uk/francis-chichester_cv.htm.</a&gt;

    Comment by James Youngman — 16 Feb 2005 on 11:41 am | Link

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