England Promotes Jonathan Ive to Knight Commander

Jonathan Ive, Apple’s designer-in-chief, has been tapped on the shoulder by the Queen of England in appreciation for “services to design and enterprise.” Mr. Ive, or Sir Jonathan as he has the right to go by, was named Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours List, which was announced late on Friday.

Sir Jonathan

Sir Jonathan Ive, Knight Commander of the British Empire

Sir Jonathan had been named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005, making the Knight Commander a promotion of sorts. While there are scores of people who were named to various orders in the 2012 New Year Honours List, there were only two people named as KBEs—the other was John Patrick Richardson, an art historian and author who was named for his “services to art.”

There were also four new CBEs named, and more than 30 Order of the British Empire (OBE) named. You can see all the recipients in the full list published by The Telegraph.

Sir Jonathan, whose full name is Jonathan Paul Ive, is currently Apple’s Senior Vice President, Industrial Design. He has headed Apple’s design efforts since shortly after the late Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. Since then, he has been credited for ushering in one gorgeous Apple product after another, and his design sensibilities have reverberated throughout the consumer electronics world.

The UK has been understandably been proud of Sir Jonathan’s accomplishments. In addition to the above-mentioned CBE he received in 2005, he was named Designer of the Year by the Design Museum in 2003, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2009 by the Royal College of Art. In 2007, he received the National Design Award by then First Lady Laura Bush.

The designer was also very close to Steve Jobs, who heaped effusive praise on him to Walter Isaacson for his biography titled Steve Jobs.