Why are creative people so deeply sceptical of Britain’s honours system? Previously top secret details revealed today show that artists including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and LS Lowry rejected honours from the Queen as well as such writers as Roald Dahl and Graham Greene. What made them so reluctant to be rewarded by the British establishment? None of these artists were known radicals. They were not on record as being republicans – although Francis Bacon is said to have once booed Princess Margaret when she insisted on singing at a party. Simple politics cannot be the explanation. It must be something harder to pin down, something in the nature of OBEs and knighthoods and the rest.
Don’t call me Sir: why do artists snub royal honours? | Art and design | guardian.co.uk. Or maybe there’s more than one reason. In 1952 C. S. Lewis turned down a CBE, and it’s not likely that his thoughts were the same as Lucian Freud’s.