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Tuesday, March 01, 2011, 06:15 am PT (09:15 am ET)

No 'Sir:' UK government denied Apple's Steve Jobs knighthood in 2009

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs was close to being knighted by the Queen of the United Kingdom in 2009, but the plans were reportedly scrapped by the U.K. government because of Jobs' absence at a political conference.

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown blocked the proposed knighthood of Jobs in 2009, according to The Telegraph, because the Apple co-founder apparently turned down an invitation to speak at a Labour Party conference. Jobs was said to be knighted for his services to technology.

The plans were apparently so far along that Apple was aware of the proposal and it reached the final stages of approval. But Jobs was apparently denied the honor because Brown and other officials reportedly felt snubbed by Jobs' absence.

"The former MP was told by Downing Street that the decision was related to a failed attempt to attract Mr. Jobs to Labour's annual conference," the report said. "Given his status as a superstar of business and technology, such an appearance would have been viewed as a coup for Mr. Brown."

Bill Gates, former CEO of Apple's rival Microsoft, was named an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005. Because he is not a citizen of Britain's Commonwealth realms, Gates does not carry the title of "Sir." Jobs, too, would not have been eligible to be a "Sir."

Though Jobs was not knighted, he can boast many other accolades and titles bestowed upon him. In recent years alone, he was named "CEO of the Decade" by both Fortune and MarketWatch. He was also named the Financial Times Person of the Year, in a profile that called his presentation unveiling the iPad a cap to "the most remarkable comeback in modern business history."