In 2004, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed a knighthood on Fred Goodwin, the chief executive officer of the Royal Bank of Scotland. “He led RBS through an era of grand expansion between 2000 and 2007, but the bank became dangerously leveraged under his watch,” according to Grant Robertson in The Globe and Mail.
During the world’s financial crises, RBS lost about £24 billion and was unable to recover alone. The U.K. taxpayers provided a £45 billion bailout, which is about $71 billion.
“After RBS’s downfall, Mr. Goodwin demanded his contractual entitlement to an £8-million pension top-up, which predictably enraged the country. Even when subjected to intense criticism, he only relinquished a portion of the bonus,” Robertson reported.
“Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the first Italian to receive the honour in 1923, was also removed when he sided with Nazi Germany in 1940 and declared war on the U.K. Among British citizens to lose the honour, Anthony Blunt is among the most notorious. The servant to the Queen had his status revoked after being exposed as a Soviet spy in 1979.”