'I'm very good at winning things' - Essex artist Grayson Perry receives his knighthood

Taffe-TA for the gong - the award winning artist Grayson Perry recieves knighthood
Award-winning artist Grayson Perry receives his knighthood. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Sir Grayson Perry has accepted his knighthood from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle wearing a burgundy taffeta dress in honour of King Charles.

The Turner Prize-winning artist and broadcaster, 63, who is known for his tapestries, and pottery was recognised in the New Year Honours list for services to the arts.

On receiving his honour, the new knight - originally from Chelmsford in Essex - quipped that he was "very good at winning things".

In 2014, Sir Grayson was made a CBE during an investiture by the then-Prince Charles and wore what he called his "Italian mother-of-the-bride" outfit, a midnight blue dress with a wide-brimmed black hat.

He said: "The last outfit was 'mother-of-the-bride', so maybe I'm now 'grandmother-of-the-bride' - I've got a bit older.

Sir Grayson chatted to Prince William about the importance of a good sense of humour Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

"My basic thought was that King Charles has just been crowned. I thought Carolingian, so I looked to the Stuart era for influence - 17th century, those sort of portraits of women of that age.

"That was my starting point, with big sleeves and a dropped shoulder. I designed it, and then I have a dressmaker and a hatmaker who I work with. We have fun."

The Essex artist said he wanted to use the title informally because he did not want to come across as "pompous", but also said it should be used during a "very formal occasion".

"But it's quite funny to sign off a text to your best friend, 'Sir G'," he joked.

Asked what a young Grayson Perry would make of him being knighted, he said: "I'm in a completely different stratosphere. I'm a blue-chip member of the establishment now, but that's fine by me because in a way it's a by-product of success.

"You don't ask for honours; they're bestowed upon you. You can't plan for those."

Sir Grayson also described his conversation with "fun" William, who bestowed the honour on him.

"We talked about humour, because humour is important. I don't think it gets enough recognition in the culture quite often, because humour is the check and balance of culture, there's no common sense without a sense of humour," he said.

Sir Grayson previously said being given a knighthood was an honour coming from a kind of working-class background.

Born in 1960 in Chelmsford, he began his career at Braintree College of Further Education and then at Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he studied fine art.

Later when he moved to London in the early 1980s, he began attending evening pottery classes and developed a strong connection with the medium, and often appeared in public as his female alter-ego, Claire.

He won the Turner Prize in 2003 after being nominated for the piece Claire's Coming Out Dress and a collection of vases depicting the dark recesses of life.

Speaking about what his advice would be for young artists, Sir Grayson said: "It's a long haul."

He added: "I was very much a late developer. I was one of those artists that rose without trace. I was in my late 30s before I made a living from my work.

"But I've also had a really lovely late career where I'm doing lots of different things and trying new things. So, I would say never stop learning. It's absolutely important to always try new things that excite you."

He added that the honour would be placed in his "cupboard of medals", joking: "I'm very good at winning things."

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