An email I have just received:

It is my pleasure to inform you that Queen Elizabeth II, Head of State of the UK, has appointed Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web, to be a member of the Order of Merit.

Founded in 1902 by King Edward VII, the Order of Merit [1] is conferred by the sovereign of the United Kingdom to “such persons, being subjects of our Crown, as may have rendered exceptionally meritorious service in Our Crown Services, or towards the advancement of the Arts, Learning, Literature and Science or such other exceptional service as We see fit to recognise.”


Some other points to note:

  • The OM is one of the few British honours that is in the personal gift of the Sovereign as opposed to her government.
  • As well as being the personal gift of the Queen, only 24 living people are allowed to hold the OM.
  • Previous holders of the OM include Florence Nightingale, Edward Elgar and
    Winston Churchill.

It’s good to see this honour being awarded to the person responsible for a great British invention which changed the world; no, not football or cricket, but the World Wide Web:-)

PS The joke going around the W3C (coined by TV Raman) is:

Q. Why doesn’t the Queen use the Web?

A. Because it’s a royalty-free Web.