Pop star Ariana Grande has turned down a chance at Damehood, The Sun is reporting. The Honours Committee wanted to make her a Dame Commander of the British Empire, which is a gong that can be given to foreign nationals. The singer was rumored to have been offered the honor for her handling of the terrorist attack that occurred at her concert in Manchester last year.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive at her concert, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds. In response, Grande visited with victims in the hospital and performed a charity concert in Manchester a mere two weeks after the attack, bringing on guests such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and Coldplay. Grande was reportedly touched when offered the honor of Damehood, but politely declined.
“Ariana was flattered but said it was too soon,” said a source. “She explained she was still grieving. So were scores of families. She feared some affected might see it as insensitive. The committee wrote to her but she politely said no.”
“She was deeply moved and honored,” another source shared. “She didn’t decline it as such but explained it was not the right time to accept.”
Charlotte Hodgson, who lost her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, in the May, 2017, attack, thinks Grande probably made the right call.
“It’s a lovely gesture,” said Hodgson. “She’s right — maybe it is a bit too soon. She’s lovely and would never do anything to hurt any of us.”
Along with the chance of Damehood, Grande was honored by being made an honorary citizen of Manchester. Grande went on to get a tattoo of a worker bee, which is an iconic symbol in Manchester’s history. According to the Daily Mail, Grande was able to raise over £17 million for the victims’ families at the One Love Manchester concert. She has also spoken briefly of struggling with PTSD following the attack.
Since Grande is a U.S. citizen, it would only be an honorary Damehood, and though she would not be able to refer to herself as “Dame,” she would be able to use the initials “DBE” after her name, according to tradition. An example of a U.S. citizen being given this honor is Angelina Jolie, who was praised in 2014 for her efforts to end warzone sexual violence and for her services to United Kingdom foreign policy.
Grande is not the only one to have turned down honors. Other notable public figures who did the same include Danny Boyle, David Bowie, Stephen Hawking, Roald Dahl, and John Cleese, among many others.