Tom Foley is out of power in Washington, D.C., but not out of favor in other world capitals.
The former speaker of the House is going to be knighted by the British, sources said Friday.
Just like Winston Churchill, Eric Clapton and Lancelot.
Except that Foley, not being a British subject, won’t have to kneel before the queen or get tapped on the shoulders with a sword. He also wouldn’t use the title “sir” in front of his name after receiving the honor.
Foley, who works for a law and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., was traveling and could not be reached for comment Friday.
The British Embassy in Washington, D.C., was unable to confirm Foley’s impending knighthood or offer any details on the reasons for it.
Sources said invitations to the ceremony are in the mail. Foley has been active in foreign affairs and international government and parliamentarian organizations.
He previously received the Legion of Honor from France and the Order of Merit from Germany.
Knighthood for Americans is unusual, but not unheard of.
Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf was knighted for running the Persian Gulf War, as were several military commanders from World War II and the Korean War. Ronald Reagan was knighted after he left the White House and Caspar Weinberger after he retired as secretary of defense.
There are many types of knighthood, known as orders, including the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
Unlike the old days, knighthood does not come with a suit of armor, a steed, a squire and a page.
Although he can’t be a sir, even knighted nonBritons like Foley are allowed to designate their order with initials after their names, if they choose.
One other perk. Under the rules of etiquette, Foley would get to sit closer to the queen at royal dinners than non-knighted former House speakers.
ILLUSTRATION: Color photo