"It is such an honor to be awarded this," McCartney said after receiving the award, BBC News
According to The Guardian
, President Hollande praised and thanked McCartney for his contribution to the arts. He joked that he preferred the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, and also revealed that as a youth, he liked Paul better than fellow Beatle John Lennon, The Guardian
In 1997, in his native Britain, McCartney was knighted
by Queen Elizabeth II, who is a past recipient of the French Legion of Honor. Actor Sir Laurence Olivier also received the award, which was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.
The Legion of Honor
is usually intended for French nationals and those who have served in the army, The Guardian
World War II
veterans have received the honor in recognition for their heroism and bravery.
Barbara Streisand and Liza Minelli were awarded the Legion of Honor by former President Nikolas Sarkzozy, The Associated Press
Actor Clint Eastwood is also a recipient of the award, BBC News