Stringfellow succeeds in making it no G-strings attached

By Jack Foley

 

He has been described as Rudi the Rock and Mayor of the World. Today Rudolph Giuliani laid claim to a new title as he received an honorary knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.



'Excited': Giuliani shows off his honorary knighthood with his girlfriend Judy Nathan


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But what will his title be? As a foreigner, he cannot be known as "Sir Rudi", although he can use the letters KCMG after his name. Accepting the honour alongside his girlfriend, Judy Nathan, he also acknowledged a prefix might cause him difficulties in New York. "I know my people," he said. "A New Yorker would say 'what's all this Sir stuff ? What are you, some kind of big shot'?"

Mr Giuliani did not wear traditional morning suit and was not "dubbed" by the Queen. He bowed as he greeted her. She handed him the box containing the insignia and they shook hands. He told her: "I believe I speak for all the people of New York and America in thanking you for the tremendous support after 11 September. We need good friends and we have no better friends than Great Britain."

The Queen said she had watched events unfold on television and congratulated him on his leadership. She added: "I hope you have less stress in you life now."

After the encounter Mr Giuliani described her as "warm and endearing" and pronounced himself "very excited and very humbled".

Mr Giuliani received the honorary knighthood for his widely applauded leadership of New York in the days after the atrocities. The citation noted the way he had cared for British families who lost relatives when the two passenger planes were flown into the World Trade Center.

Former police commissioner Bernard Kerik and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen were rewarded by the Queen with CBEs.

Mr Giuliani was accompanied to Buckingham Palace by his father, also Rudolph Giuliani, and Elizabeth Petrone, his executive assistant whose husband Terry Hatton, a fire chief, died on 11 September.

The former mayor was feted at a lunch at Mansion House hosted by the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Michael Oliver. An audience including the Duke of York and Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens raised toasts to the Queen and the President of the United States. Lord Levene of Portsoken revealed the World Trade Disaster Fund has raised £4.8 million.

Earlier, Mr Giuliani urged Londonersto declare a US-style war on crime. He said the use of technology, statistics and an unbending hostility to even trivial crimes allowed decent communities to prevail.