(London Bureau)

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates received an honorary Knighthood from the Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

Gates was awarded the title KBE, or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his contribution to enterprise, employment, education and the voluntary sector in the UK, and for his efforts to reduce poverty in the developing world, including parts of the British Commonwealth.

As part of the ceremony to present the decoration, Gates knelt before the monarch, who tapped him on the shoulder with a sword. The motto of the order of chivalry is "For God and the Empire."

Under a system established in 1917, Gates cannot use the title "Sir" because he is not a UK or Commonwealth citizen, but he can write the letters KBE after his name.

The UK Foreign Office announced in January 2004 that Gates would receive the award.