Pele among only five foreign footballers given UK honour by the Queen

Footballing icon Pele was one of only five foreign footballers to be granted the ultimate privilege of being honoured by Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty's 70-year reign tragically came to an end on Thursday afternoon (September 8) after months of concern regarding her health. Queen Elizabeth died in the comfort of Balmoral Castle with Charles and Princess Anne by her bedside before the Royal Family confirmed her passing to the public at 6:30pm.

The nation has now entered a period of mourning for its long-serving monarch. King Charles III will make a pre-recorded announcement to the nation on television at 6pm today, pledging his service as the new sovereign.

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A known admirer of sport throughout her life, the Queen enjoyed horse riding, football and tennis – where she is reported to have fallen in love with her future husband Prince Phillip.

Also of age to have enjoyed England's World Cup triumph in 1966, Her Majesty has given several honours to former and current Three Lions heroes, including David Beckham OBE, Steven Gerrard MBE and Steph Houghton OBE.

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However, Brazilian legend Pele is one of just five foreign stars to have received a British honour for their services to football. In fact, the Pele is the only footballer to possess a KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).

Henrik Larsson, Niall Quinn and Peter Schmeichel have all been granted MBEs by Her Majesty – the lowest class of appointment to the Order. Whilst former Chelsea ace Gianfranco Zola was handed an OBE in 2004 to celebrate his service to English football.

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  • Queen
  • Royal Family
  • Pele
  • Chelsea FC
  • England Football Team
  • David Beckham
  • World Cup

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