Elvis Costello described being honoured in Buckingham Palace as a “curious and gracious” experience, having initially been reluctant to accept the establishment endorsement.
The musician was recognised alongside former England and Yorkshire cricket captain Sir Geoffrey Boycott and Jack Reacher author Lee Child.
Costello smiled as he described how he imagined his late father, who he described as a non-violent Irish republican, might have reacted.
Explaining that his musician father Ross MacManus had sung at the palace more than 50 years ago at a Christmas staff ball, he said: “I know my dad would’ve loved the idea of one of the family coming through the front door.”
Costello, who was made an OBE for services to music, praised the “broad-mindedness” behind someone like him being included in an honours list and complimented the “resilience” of the Queen.
The 65-year-old, who was born Declan MacManus in London, said: “Obviously it wouldn’t be any secret that I never write any songs about ‘hooray for her majesty’. But her resilience, you’d have to say that’s unexpected.
“I think it shows a degree of broad-mindedness to have me in here,” added the singer, who has enjoyed a five decades-long career during which he has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and ranked by Rolling Stone as being among the 100 greatest artists of all time.
“The experience was very curious and gracious, I have to say,” he added.
He paid tribute to his mother for encouraging him to accept the award, but said ultimately it will not change him.
“It goes on the shelf with the other things (awards),” he said.
“You try to take them with a bit of grace. There was a time when I might have made more of a gesture, saying no. But it’s easier to do that than to reason why you would say yes.