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Sir Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has collected an accolade from Prince Charles and it's a doozy: Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for Services to Fashion.

The designer was presented with the insignia, bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II, in a private ceremony Wednesday at Buckingham Palace.

A company statement says Lauren is the first American designer to be recognized with an honorary knighthood. Ralph Lauren Corp. has donated to a breast cancer research centre in London and plans to financially support a second centre as well.

Lauren said via email he's always been inspired by the history, traditions and culture of the U.K. and considers the knighthood a "very special moment" as he celebrates 50 years in fashion.



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