That's William Henry Gates III, KBE, to You

Critics associate Bill Gates with an "Evil Empire," but Microsoft's chairman is now formally attached to an official empire.

Gates received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in March.

The honorary knighthood recognizes Gates' contributions to improving health and reducing poverty through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The honor also recognizes economic contributions of Microsoft to the U.K.

Like other American honorary knights, such as Rudy Giuliani and Alan Greenspan, Gates can't use the term "Sir" before his name. But he may add KBE, for Knight Commander of the British Empire.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.