In my diplomatic career I refused three UK honours:
LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order)
OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)
CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order)
On two occasions the Queen personally handed me presents instead. One was a silver armada dish, and one a letter rack made by Viscount Linley. I donated the latter to an auction for Julian Assange’s defence fund. The silver armada dish must be packed away somewhere. If I can dig it out, I shall auction it to raise funds for the SNP! Impeccable provenance.
I turned down the honours because I am a republican and believer in Scottish independence, and explained that to the Queen on one occasion when she asked. To be fair, she was perfectly fine with that.
I was thinking about honours in contemplating:
Sir Peter Hayman
Sir Cyril Smith
Sir Jimmy Savile
That list could be expanded by a great many. I cannot help but think I made the right decision.