Rolf Harris Stripped of CBE
Disgraced Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has now been stripped of the CBE he was awarded by the Queen.
Harris, a convicted pedophile, had his royal honor annulled on Tuesday at the behest of the Queen Elizabeth II. The Western Australia-born recording artist and broadcaster was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to entertainment and the arts back in 2006, just a year after he'd painted a portrait of the monarch to commemorate her 80th birthday. He had previously been awarded an MBE and an OBE.
But in an announcement in the Crown's official publication, the London Gazette, it was announced: "The Queen has directed that the appointment of Rolf Harris to be a Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 17 June 2006, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order."
Queen Elizabeth chooses the award recipients on the advice of the prime minister and other relevant ministers. In those situations where Buckingham Palace considers the system to have been brought into disrepute, royal honors can be removed.
Officials felt Harris did just that when he was jailed last year after being charged with 12 indecent assaults of four school girls. Harris was targeted as part of Operation Yewtree, which was set up to investigate the Jimmy Saville sex scandal.
It's the latest in a long line of embarrassing forfeitures for Harris, who was sentenced to five years and nine months in a U.K. jail. Just last month, Australia's Governor-General Peter Cosgrove "terminated" the performer's appointments of Officer and Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division. Soon after he was incarcerated, Harris was removed from the list of Australia's National Living Treasures, ARIA retracted his induction into the trade body's Hall of Fame and he lost his British BAFTA Fellowship and his honorary degree from the University of East London.
Until his trial, Harris had enjoyed a high profile in Britain as a broadcaster, painter and singing star. He had a string of U.K. chart hits including the No. 1 single "Two Little Boys" (Columbia) from 1969 and "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" which reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 9 in the U.K.