METALLICA‘s Danish-born drummer Lars Ulrich was recently officially dubbed a knight by the Danish crown prince. The musician was officially knighted on May 26 but he physically received the medal this past week during Frederik‘s trip to San Francisco, where the royal handed over the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Dannebrog to the 53-year-old drummer on behalf of Queen Margrethe for Ulrich‘s long-standing contribution to music.
Speaking to the Dallas radio station 97.1 The Eagle, Ulrich stated about the honor (see video below): “I’ve heard a lot about this the last couple of days. The English take on it [is] the whole sword and the kneeling and all that stuff. In Denmark, it’s little more casual. But listen, there’s five million people in this country — okay? — and not a lot happens in this country and it’s very cool, so I’m actually very appreciative. And the Crown Prince, who’s a super-cool dude, he had a denim jacket on. I got ambushed with this. I didn’t know that it was gonna happen. But he had his denim jacket on, I had a white shirt, and all of a sudden he started talking about somebody in the room that had gone above and beyond for Denmark, which was cool, and then I realized he was talking about me. There was no sword or anything. But now I’m officially a rider of Dannebrog, which is the Danish flag. So now I need to get a horse… That’s really what it comes down to. I have to get a horse to go along with my medal.”
He continued: “They do this in all these countries. I think they do it here [in the U.S.]. I think it’s probably like… Isn’t there something called the Kennedy Center Honors where every year they give… they bestow the presidential med… I don’t know… Every country’s got a version of this. For some reason, the English version, which is the whole thing about kneeling and the sword on the shoulder and all that, that’s, I guess, kind of the epitome of all this. But the Americans do it in some way, the Danes do it a little more casually, and I’m sure if you were sitting talking to somebody from Belgium, there’s a Belgian version of this.”
He added: “As silly as it sounds, it’s kind of cool. Listen, a snot-nosed kid, a drummer in a heavy metal band, gets that kind of honor bestowed upon him? That’s pretty cool. So I’m very happy and proud. And, like I said, it’s a small country, so it’s kind of cool.”
In the photo below, Ulrich is sporting his new hardware on his lapel as he poses with the 49-year-old Count of Monpezat.
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.”