Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, swapped sunny Cupertino for London today to receive his knighthood from Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace. The 45-year-old Brit, who is responsible for the iconic designs behind Apple’s computers and iOS devices, said he is “both humbled and sincerely grateful” for the “absolutely thrilling honor.”
While in the capital, Ive also gave what is likely his most revealing interview yet to British broadsheet The Telegraph, in which he talks about Apple’s design and its focus on simplicity, Steve Jobs, and the company’s current projects.
Steve Jobs almost joined such Neo-Arthurian luminaries as Sir Elton Hercules John, Sir Robert of Hope and Dame Kylie Minogue, according to a former Labour Party politician, who says that the Apple CEO was almost offered a knighthood back in 2009 for his services to technology.
According to the former senior British MP, although the argument for Jobs’ knighthood was compelling, the Apple boss’ impolitic inscrutability ultimately cut him out of getting the war.
Although the suggestions for knighthood reached the final stages of approval, at the end of the day, Steve Jobs was irrefutably blocked by Downing Street because Jobs had once refused to attend an annual Labour conference, which would have been seen as a big political win for then-current Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Why was Jobs considered?
Apple has been the only major global company to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced. No other CEO has consistently shown such a commitment.
If it hadn’t been blocked, Jobs still wouldn’t be the first American to be a British Knight, or even the first tech magnate: Bill Gates won in 2005. However, due to his lack of British citizenship, he still wouldn’t be allowed to go around, belligerently demanding strangers to refer to him as “Sir Steve,” a la Ben Kingsley.