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Category Archives: Orders & Decorations

Orders & Decorations

Michael Palin Now a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG)

Michael Palin Now a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG)

“If you have a fancy to see your name in the next honours list”

The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (BRUC)

 

Monty Python’s Michael Palin hosted the April 8, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live and portrayed Holmes in a sketch

Michael Palin’s name is familiar to fans of Monty Python, but many are not familiar with his brief connection to Sherlock Holmes. On the April 8, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live, Palin was the guest host. During the episode, Palin portrayed Holmes in a sketch entitled “The Case of the Scarlet Membrane” and had a severe cocaine addiction. This would be the first time that Holmes was portrayed on SNL in the history of the show.

On December 28, 2018, it was announced that Palin had been appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for services to travel, culture and geography in the 2019 New Year Honours. He received his insignia this past June 13th.

The badge is the only insignia used by all members of the Order; it is suspended on a blue-crimson-blue ribbon. Knights Commanders and male Companions wear the badge from a ribbon around the neck; Dames Commanders and female Companions wear it from a bow on the left shoulder. The badge is a seven-armed, white-enamelled Maltese Cross); the obverse shows St. Michael trampling on Satan, while the reverse shows St. George on horseback killing a dragon, both within a dark blue ring bearing the motto of the Order.

The star is an insignia is worn pinned to the left breast. The Knight and Dame Grand Cross’ star includes seven-armed, silver-rayed “Maltese Asterisk” (for want of a better description—see photo of badge), with a gold ray in between each pair of arms. The Knight and Dame Commander’s star is a slightly smaller eight-pointed silver figure formed by two Maltese Crosses; it does not include any gold rays. In each case, the star bears a red cross of S.t George. In the center of the star is a dark blue ring bearing the motto of the Order. Within the ring is a representation of St. Michael trampling on Satan.

Palin had previously been appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to television in the 2000 New Year Honours list. The badge for the CBE is in the form of a cross patonce (having the arms growing broader and floriated toward the end), the obverse of which bears the left facing busts of King George V and Queen Mary; the reverse bears George V’s Royal and Imperial Cypher. Both are within a ring bearing the motto of the Order. The badges are enamelled with pale blue crosses and crimson ring, and is suspended from a ribbon that is rose-pink with pearl-grey edges, with the addition of a pearl-grey central stripe for the military division.

We are going to add that Palin’s Monty Python costar, John Cleese, was offered a CBE back in 1996 and declined the honor. Cleese would portray Holmes in the 1977 film The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It.

 

Faces of Holmes: Charlton Heston

Faces of Holmes: Charlton Heston

“… possible actors in this drama…” – The Adventure of the Second Stain (SECO) Charlton Heston as Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood Charlton Heston was a prolific actor in Hollywood. Upon his death in 2008, noted film critic Roger Ebert commented, “Heston made at least three movies that almost everybody eventually sees: Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments and Planet of… Continue Reading

The Unauthorized [and Illicit] Dr. Watson Battle of Maiwand Bar

The Unauthorized [and Illicit] Dr. Watson Battle of Maiwand Bar

“The campaign brought honours and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but misfortune and disaster.” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) Facsimile of Dr. John Watson’s 2nd Afghan War Medal With the [at last and about time] Long Overdue Maiwand Bar* For the believer in versimilitude actual 2nd Afghan War Medals may… Continue Reading

Faces of Moriarty Leo McKern

Faces of Moriarty Leo McKern

“… an incomparable actor” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) Reginald “Leo” McKern (March 16, 1920 – July 23, 2002) was an Australian actor. While our group will focus on his portrayal of Professor James Moriarty in the 1975 musical comedy film, The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, he is better known for his role as… Continue Reading

Numismatic Items in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother

Numismatic Items in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother

“… my unhappy brother…” – The Sign of the Four (SIGN) Gene Wilder wrote, directed and starred in the 1975 musical comedy The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother. Wilder would portray Sigerson while being assisted by Marty Feldman’s character of Orville Sacker, a Scotland Yards record clerk with a “photographic” memory for hearing. They would investigate… Continue Reading

Campaign Medals of Jude Law’s Dr. Watson

Campaign Medals of Jude Law’s Dr. Watson

“I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand.” – A Study in Scarleti (STUD) We have done a few posts before on the various cinematic versions of Dr. Watson and the various military decorations they have worn. We now turn our attention to the portrayal by Jude Law in the two movies in the Robert Downey,… Continue Reading

The Decorated Dr. Watson of the 2013 Sherlok Kholms Russian Television Series

The Decorated Dr. Watson of the 2013 Sherlok Kholms Russian Television Series

“The campaign brought honours and promotion to many …” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) Dr. Watson hanging up his uniform in the first episode of Sherlok Kholmes In November 2013, Russian television aired eight episodes of Шерлок Холмс, translated as Sherlok Kholms. The series starred Igor Petrenk as Holmes as Andrei Panin as Watson. This would be… Continue Reading

Faces of Mycroft: Hugh Laurie

Faces of Mycroft: Hugh Laurie

“If you have a fancy to see your name in the next honours list…” – The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (BRUC) Prince Charles presents Hugh Laurie with his CBE, November 21, 2018 We share the following report from the BBC: Hugh Laurie made a CBE by Prince Charles Actor Hugh Laurie has been made a… Continue Reading

Faces of Holmes: Peter Cushing

Faces of Holmes: Peter Cushing

“… this man here – is an actor.” – The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place (SHOS) John Mills as Watson, Peter Cushing as Holmes in The Masks of Death (1984). This would be Cushing’s last role as Holmes. My first introduction to Peter Cushing was as Grand Moff Tarkin in a 1976 movie Star Wars. I would later become familiar… Continue Reading