Queen Elizabeth wasn't there, neither was Prince Charles. But there was plenty of pomp and circumstance nonetheless in Washington. D.C., on Monday, as Hollywood super-filmmaker Steven Spielberg, 54, became the newest honorary knight of the British Empire. The distinction is considered one of the highest honors bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II to those born outside the United Kingdom, going to those considered to have made outstanding contributions to society. Previous honorees include former Presidents Reagan and Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell (before his current cabinet appointment), retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and comedian Bob Hope (who actually was born in England but became a U.S. citizen). The ceremony for the maker of "E.T.," "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan" was held in a candlelit room of the British Embassy and witnessed by, among others, Spielberg's wife, actress Kate Capshaw, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California (both Democrats), Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a Republican, former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark and actress Holly Hunter, reports the Associated Press. When British ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer placed the ribboned medal over Spielberg's head, the director-producer reportedly responded with a modest, "Why me?"
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