Sir Simon Hughes, former MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, shared a joke with the Queen this week when he was honoured with a knighthood at Buckingham Palace.
The political veteran, who spent 32 years as Member of Parliament for the north of the borough, was knighted at a ceremony on November 10, where he was lucky enough to be honoured by Her Majesty herself.
Sir Simon told the News: “It went very well, we got the full treatment. The Queen was in good form and asked about the changes I had seen over the years in the House of Commons. I told her that there were many more women now, and she replied ‘yes – and I seem to remember from the last election that there are a lot more Scots now too!’”
Sir Simon was accompanied to the palace by his brothers, Jamie and David, and his niece Allison. Whereas many people arrive at the palace ahead of their investiture in a flashy car, the group made their way there in a simple black cab – a nod to the former MP’s recognisable yellow taxi.
When it was announced in June that Sir Simon would receive a knighthood, he told the News that it was a personal honour – but also a reflection of the hard work of those who had supported him in the community over the last three decades.
He said: “This honour is a testament to the hard work of so many different people and belongs as much to them as to me. I think it gives recognition to the area as well.”
He also added that he was nervous about the prospect of a private audience with “the most well-known head of state in the world – it doesn’t get much bigger than that!”