Sean Connery’s support for Scottish independence ‘delayed him becoming a knight’. UK

  Sean Connery's support for Scottish independence 'delayed him becoming a knight'.  UK

Sean Connery jokes about people with “shirts lying around” in 1997

Sean Connery was one of Britain’s greatest actors, if not what the world had ever seen. First as James Bond, he starred in seven films as 007, as well as winning several awards. He was previously voted “Sexiest Man Ever” by People magazine and won many fans around the world for his work. In addition to being a notable actor, Mr. Connery had strong political opinions.

He was a member of the Scottish National Party and throughout his life campaigned for Scottish independence from the UK, as well as financially supporting the party.

All of his £1 million Diamonds Forever fees were donated to the Scottish International Education Trust, an organization he co-founded that is committed to helping young Scots gain an education.

Its funding of the SNP, however, ended in 2001, when Parliament passed a law prohibiting the funding of political activities abroad.

However, his opinion did not always make him friends north of the border.

While she was awarded the Queen’s Knighthood in 2000, she had already been nominated twice for the honor.

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Sean Connery’s support for independence has ‘driven him back to being a knight’ (Image: GETTY)

Sean Connery received his knight in 2000, but had already been nominated twice. (Image: GETTY)

In 1997 and 1998 both appointments were reportedly vetoed by then-Secretary of State for Scotland, Donald Dewar.

According to the BBC, Mr Connery was donating £4,800 a month to the SNP’s coffers at the time.

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Renowned television critic Euan Ferguson wrote in The Guardian in 2004: “The late ’90s were a bad time. [Connery’s] The adherence to the SNP so angered Scottish Labour, whose relentless defense of decentralization rather than complete independence, at least in this new parliament, that its knighthood is widely seen as being blocked.

“Connery was not happy, and you could argue that his feelings were justified.

“He was not only the greatest Scottish but British star, and he had done everything, all himself, since one of the most difficult beginnings of his life, and yet he was denied the honor he deserved.” He had felt as he dared to enter the Serpent’s gulf of Scottish politics.

Sean Connery as James Bond.

Mr Connery has appeared in seven James Bond films. (Image: GETTY)

Mr Connery’s website echoed this: “Sir Sean Connery has been a staunch supporter of Scotland throughout his life.

“While it is generally believed that his support for Scottish independence and the Scottish National Party delayed his knighthood for many years, his commitment to Scotland never waned.”

The biographical section of his website read: “Politics in the UK has more intrigue than James Bond conspiracy.

“Although Scotland is not yet independent, it has a new parliament.”

He said Mr Connery had a “firm belief” that Scotland would achieve independence in his lifetime.

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Sean Connery with James Bond's Aston Martin

Sean Connery is with the iconic 007 Aston Martin. (Image: GETTY)

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He did not fulfill his wish, as he had died in his sleep last year.

However, he got the chivalry he deserved.

He was knighted by the Queen of Edinburgh for his services to cinema, at a ceremony he had specifically requested to be in his hometown.

Dressed in traditional Highland attire and accompanied by his wife Michelle and brother Neil, he knelt down as the queen lightly touched his shoulders with a sword.

He shook hands and talked for a few moments.

Sean Connery

Sean Connery said being knighted was “one of the proudest days of my life”. (Image: GETTY)

He later revealed that the Queen asked him how often he came to Scotland, as he was living in Marbella at the time.

Mr Connery said at the time: ‘I think it is a great honor for Scotland. There is only one Honor System Day here.

“It’s one of the proudest days of my life.”

Sean’s story was remarkable and the final rags to the story of the rich.

Born in Edinburgh in 1930, his family was so poor that he had to sleep in the bottom drawer of his parents’ dresser.

He started working when he was only nine years old, doing a variety of small jobs to help his family.

He left school at the age of 13 and joined the Royal Navy in 1946 before receiving medical leave.

At a bodybuilding competition in London in 1953, he heard that Rodgers & Hammerstein were auditioning for a production of the classic “South Pacific”. He had a minor role as one of C.B.’s backing vocals and several other roles as an extra in the mid-fifties.

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The rest, as they say, is history.

Sean Connery appears in “The First Great Train Robbery”, which airs this afternoon on BBC Two.


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