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Sir Brian May’s knighthood announcement in the New Years Honours List felt a long time coming for many fans. Not only for his services to rock music and animal rights but also for his performances at two Jubilee concerts for the late Queen. Most notably this was playing the national anthem from the roof of Buckingham Palace 21 years ago, which he admits is a career highlight. The 75-year-old’s received his accolade earlier the week, as King Charles III dubbed him a knight of the realm while he was down on one knee before the new monarch.

Speaking afterwards with 5 News, Sir Brian said he was pleased it was The King knighting him. After all, they’ve had what he calls “something of a friendship” over the decades and share animal rights concerns. Plus being only a year apart in age, they bonded over what it’s like with their knees in their mid-Seventies as the rock legend stooped down on one.

The Queen star said it made him smile and that he has “enormous respect” for His Majesty, who he described as “a very humane man”. He was then asked what Freddie Mercury, who died 32 years ago, would have made of it all.

Asked if the late Queen singer would have enjoyed seeing Sir Brian knighted, the guitar legend replied: “Freddie would love it. I think if he’d been around he would have been honoured long ago and very rightly so. So we’re left here and have to deal with the honours ourselves I suppose. But Freddie is always with us. We carry him with us in everything we do and he’s a very precious person, very precious spirit. And, of course, everything that we created is still going on right now.”

The 75-year-old also captioned a clip of his accolade on Instagram, highlighting that he hopes the coverage of it will mean more people will listen to him when he campaigns against Blood Sports.

READ MORE: Brian May’s entrance for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘BBC failed to show’

Sir Brian wrote: “Yes – I’m a little quiet, following the investiture of me as a Knight of the Realm. But this little TV clip turned up. I’m not sure whither it’s from, but it does show the interior palace moment quite nicely. Thanks @fanybary for channelling it to me. I’m actually amazed at the coverage my knighthood got, globally – I’m hoping it will mean that more people will listen to me when I pitch in against Government handling of the remains of Blood Sports, and the shameful and utterly failed policy of slaughtering around a QUARTER OF A MILLION NATIVE badgers in the tragically mistaken belief that it would eradicate the miserable disease of bovine TB in cattle.

“This year in the worst-hit TB region in the South-West, farmers saw an INCREASE in herd breakdowns on the previous year – and there are virtually no badgers left – so nobody can cling to the belief that “it was the badgers” any more. Yet still the lunacy goes on. Perhaps it needs a knight in the shining armour of common sense, to actually bring focus back to the real reasons for the continuing misery of the cattle farmers. And perhaps even to bring compassion and decency to the countryside. Well, I’m ready, in harness. #TBfree #badgercull #bloodsports Bri.”