LONDON – Call him sir!
Buddy the Cat was officially knighted on Friday during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, granting him the title Knight of the British Empire and making him the most-honored cat in the Anglosphere since Able Seaman Simon, the decorated ship’s cat who was injured aboard the HMS Amethyst in 1949.
It’s unusual for an American to be knighted and unprecedented for a cat to be elevated to knighthood, but Buddy was honored “for his innumerable contributions to human-feline understanding, unprecedented innovations in the art of napping, and status as tastemaker supreme in the world of delicious snacks,” according to the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood at St James’s Palace.
Buddy has become a trusted confidante of Queen Elizabeth II, royal insiders noted, and the two speak by telephone for at least 15 minutes each week.
“Her Majesty grew to appreciate Sir Buddy’s counsel in trying times,” a palace insider said. “In return, she advised Sir Buddy to keep a stiff upper lip during the Great Turkey Shortage of early 2021.”
Palace sources say the queen refers to her feline friend as “my dearest Buddington,” and often addresses him by the familiar “Bud-Bud.” Sir Buddy is also said to be close with Prince William.
In addition to the knighthood, which entitles the American cat to refer to himself as Sir Buddy, KBE, the Crown gifted holdings including a cat-size palace on Buckingham grounds, as well as a country estate in Oxfordshire.
The estate’s central manor, Budsworth House, has 32 rooms, 86 couches, a dozen fireplaces and at least 16 antique litter boxes. The grounds are home to sprawling gardens featuring feline-centric statuary and boxes made of stone, as well as guest cottages for human and feline visitors.
Rumors that Sir Buddy would be created Buddy, Earl of Buddington, did not come to fruition, although royal experts say an earldom is not off the table for the Queen’s favorite feline.
“Her Majesty is quite fond of Bud-Bud and was delighted when a parcel arrived with a Christmas card and a framed photograph of the two of them together,” a palace sources said. “In fact, Prince George and Princess Charlotte refer to Sir Buddy as ‘Uncle Bud-Bud.’ So in a sense, Sir Buddy is already part of the family.”