According to Ekstra Bladet, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has been awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Dannebrog.

The Order of Dannebrog is an Order of Denmark, instituted by Christian V in 1671. In the beginning, only noblemen could be decorated, but in 1808 Frederik VI changed the requirements so non-nobles could be rewarded for “true merit.”

Today the Order is given to Danish citizens who have merited the special decoration.

The Order of Dannebrog is a white enameled silver cross, edged in red, with a crown and the monogram of the reigning monarch. It carries an inscription “God and King.”

Ulrich received the honor on May 26.

In a 2016 interview, Lars spoke about how his Danish upbringing relates to METALLICA‘s need to always challenge itself creatively. “Being Danish, I’ve always had, I think, a fairly easy relationship with being contrary,” he explained. “I think a lot of Danish people are quite contrarian and like to challenge things and like to… If somebody says, ‘Let’s go left,’ then Danish people will pull off and just go, ‘Let’s go right.’ I certainly have a bit of a contrarian kind of attitude in me that, I think, comes certainly significantly from being Danish, and I think METALLICA has always enjoyed floating around in our own little bubble, being outsiders, living in our own world, being contrary and a little bit opposite of what everybody else embraces. We’ve never been a big part of a movement, of a fad, of a wave. We never particularly felt like we fit into anything, and METALLICA has always, I think, enjoyed an element of contrary energy.”

Lars recalled in a 1995 interview that he “grew up in as open an upbringing as you can imagine… I was very independent. I had nothing tying me down. At the same time, anything I wanted I had to get it myself.”

He added: “Even though tennis was his main source of income, my dad was also writing about jazz in the papers in Copenhagen. Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman were always playing in the stereo around the house. Later it was THE DOORS and Jimi Hendrix.”