WASHINGTON // Edward Kennedy, patriarch of one of America's most fabled political families, has been awarded a honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth, the British government has said. The award, in recognition of the senator's service to the US-UK relationship and to Northern Ireland, comes as the British prime minister Gordon Brown visits Washington to meet with President Barack Obama and address the US Congress today.
Mr Kennedy, a leading Democratic liberal voice in the Senate for decades, has brain cancer and has spent little time in Washington this year. He underwent surgery last year to remove a malignant tumour and suffered a seizure on Jan 21 at Mr Obama's inauguration luncheon. Mr Kennedy, who turned 77 on Feb 22, has been the leader of one of America's most prominent political families since the assassinations of brothers President John F Kennedy in 1963 and Robert Kennedy in 1968.
Mr Kennedy has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1962. * Reuters