In a rather unorthodox but official ceremony outside the Mayflower Pub in London, Queen Elizabeth knighted British Cyclist Bradley Wiggins. The first Briton to win the Tour de France has also become the most successful Olympic athlete in the country.
According to Nigel Haverfib, the royal secretary, the Queen was so impressed with Wiggins’ win in the Olympic time trial that she decided to immediately knight Wiggins. She was driven to the Mayflower pub Wednesday late evening to perform the ceremony.
“Brad was a bit surprised, he was quite a few pints in,” said Barry Snouts, a friend of Wiggins. “We was celebrating and singing some old Jam songs when this butler type guy suddenly appears. We though it was a joke but he asks Brad to step outside.”
On the sidewalk outside the Mayflower, the Tour and Olympic champion knelt down while the Queen touched both shoulders with a sword. A crowd of onlookers quickly gathered and cheered on Wiggins and the Queen.
“Normally, the Queen is given to a more formal presentation but she was rather excited,” said Haverfib. “She also gave him a number of other awards, really, she went rather bonkers.”
The Queen knighted Wiggins, then awarded him an OBE (Order of the British Empire), Star of India, The Royal Victorian Order, the Victoria and George Crosses and the Distinguished Flying Cross. “That last one is usually for the air force, but Queen Elizabeth thought Bradley was pedaling so fast that essentially he was flying,” said Haverfib.”
The unexpected visit by the Queen and subsequent sidewalk knighthood stunned Wiggins. “I cannot put it into words. I wouldn’t do it justice. It was really incredible,” Wiggins said. “Here, in the streets of London, the noise is just amazing. I don’t think anything will top that.”
According to several onlookers, Queen Elizabeth even awarded Wiggins a Baronetcy and a land grant covering 200 acres near his home in Lancashire. “We are not actually sure we can deliver on that one,” said Haverfib. “The Queen was in quite a generous mood, what with seven Olympic medals and all.”
On a cell-phone recording of the queen made by one of the onlookers, Elizabeth II can be heard repeating the words “smashing” and “brilliant” and “bloody spectacular” a number of times. Finally, two Gurkha officers, members of the Queens’ entourage, gently escorted the Queen back to her car. However, before parting, she made Wiggins promise to hep her with her aerodynamic position on her bicycle.