Why Queen's art adviser lost title like Harvey Weinstein

QUEEN's birthday honours are awarded to people for extraordinary achievements and service but sometimes people have their honours revoked.

PUBLISHED: 16:26, Fri, Sep 18, 2020 | UPDATED: 16:26, Fri, Sep 18, 2020

These honours include CBEs, OBEs, MBEs, knighthoods and damehoods, and other lesser known ones such as Companion of Honours, British Empire Medals and Royal Victorian Orders. Today it was confirmed that film producer Harvey Weinstein was stripped of his honorary CBE ‒ originally given to him in 2004 ‒ following his conviction for rape and sexual assault this year. In March, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison following an investigation into claims from several women in 2017 that he abused or harassed them, leading to the widely used hashtag #metoo, which highlighted the prevalence of sexual abuse.


The decision to strip Weinstein of his CBE was made at a recent meeting of the Honours Forfeiture Committee, which is independent from the Government.

The Honours Forfeiture Committee meets when required to consider whether recipients are guilty of behaviour “deemed to bring the honours system into disrepute”.

Weinstein is not the first person to be stripped of his Queen's honour and there is one particularly intriguing story surrounding Anthony Blunt, the Queen’s art adviser, whose knighthood was annulled.

Mr Blunt, a professor of art history at the University of London and Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, was originally given his knighthood in 1956.

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harvey weinstein anthony bluntQueen's art adviser Anthony Blunt (left) and film producer Harvey Weinstein (right) (Image: GETTY)

harvey weinsteinHarvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison (Image: GETTY)

He was then stripped of it in 1979 after he was exposed as a Soviet spy.

Mr Blunt had been a member of the Cambridge Five, a group of spies working for the Soviet Union from some time in the Thirties to the early Fifties.

The height of his espionage activity was during World War 2, when he passed intelligence on Wehrmacht plans that the British government had decided to withhold from its ally.

After being offered immunity from prosecution, he confessed in 1964.

anthony bluntAnthony Blunt with a painting by Velazquez in 1962 (Image: GETTY)

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His background was kept secret in Government circles for many years, before being publicly revealed by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1979.

After his background was made public, he was stripped of his knighthood.

Mr Blunt has a long-standing association with the Royal Family, starting in 1945 when he worked

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