Mere days after being “robbed” of a record-breaking eighth Formula One title, British racing driver Lewis Hamilton still has plenty to smile about after receiving his knighthood at Windsor Castle.
From Vanity Fair:
Back in 1999, Prince Charles met a 14-year-old aspiring race-car driver named Lewis Hamilton on a tour of automaker McLaren’s Formula One factory in Woking. Twenty-two years later, Hamilton is now one of the sport’s most successful and beloved figures of all time, and this week he reunited with the prince in very different circumstances. In a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Charles knighted Hamilton for his services to motorsport.
What exactly would those services be? I’m glad you asked.
Per ESPN, knighthood is an award and title that’s typically bestowed by a British king or queen “for high achievement and services to their country within their industry.” So in this instance, it’s safe to assume that such a prestigious honor has a lot to do with being named in the Queen’s Honours List last December after Hamilton tied Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven championships last November. Or maybe it has something to do with being courageous enough to stand up for Breonna Taylor while participating in a sport that’s whiter than Candace Owens’ Kwanzaa celebration. (‘Tis the season!)
Either way, it’s a very big deal that’s very much deserved. And when you’re the first and only Black driver in Formula One’s 70-year history, that Black excellence hits a little different. Case in point, he’s only the fourth F1 driver to receive such an illustrious honor, following Sir Jackie Stewart in 2001, Sir Stirling Moss in 2000, and Sir Jack Brabham in 1979.
In addition to his swanky new title, Hamilton also recently debuted a MasterClass on having a winning mindset—shit, he would know—and became the first MasterClass Community Ambassador. According to a press release provided to The Root, this partnership will distribute 200,000 memberships annually to underserved communities in the U.K., while focusing on organizations that serve Black youth that are studying science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.
Hamilton is truly an inspiration and a catalyst for change for us all, so make sure you put some respect on his name and address him as Sir the next time you see him.
Thanks in advance for your compliance.