TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, America's
Gulf War hero, formally became Britain's as well Monday when
Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an honorary knighthood on him.
"It was marvelous. She is a lovely lady. `She just said
`I would like to present you with this medal,"' Schwarzkopf
said after the private ceremony. "I think they go out of
their way to make sure people like me don't get nervous."
The royal entourage later flew to Texas.
Schwarzkopf was given a crimson-ribboned, two-cross medallion
in his MacDill Air Force Base office. He later beamed through
drizzling rain as he displayed it on the steps of the U.S.
Central Command headquarters.
The four-star general is now Honorary Knight Commander in
the Military Division of the Most Honorable Order of the
Bath. He is the 58th American since World War II to receive
an honorary knighthood, which entitles him to use the initials
"KCB" after his name but not the title "sir." That's reserved
for Britons only.
"I don't think anybody is going to call me `Sir Norman.'
A few people may call me general, sir," Schwarzkopf quipped.
Since his return from Saudi Arabia last month, Schwarzkopf
has been touted as a potential political candidate, addressed
a joint session of Congress, showered with accolades during
a Kentucky Derby Parade, and was given a Tampa Stadium welcome
featuring marching bands and Mickey Mouse.
The 56-year-old general, who plans to retire this August, also
is fielding book deals offering as much as $4 million in advance.
The knighting capped a two-hour tour of the city by the 65-year-old
queen, her husband, Prince Philip, and a royal entourage.
The royal couple sailed into Tampa from Miami aboard the
royal yacht Britannia and were greeted at Harbour Island by
200 schoolchildren singing "We Are The World."
The queen greeted an invitation-only gathering of 500, including
British expatriates, at a downtown pedestrian mall.
At a University of Tampa reception, local political, civic
and religious dignitaries were on hand when Tampa Mayor Sandy
Freedman presented the monarch with an 18-inch crystal palm tree.
As the entourage prepared to leave, the queen noticed a woman
standing behind a roped-off area holding a small bouquet.
"Is that for me?" the queen asked, and Linda White, a designer
for a Tampa florist, nodded and presented the flowers to her.
At MacDill, Schwarzkopf gave the queen a tour of the U.S.
Central Command war room and crisis action center.
"This is, in fact, where most of the initial planning for
the deployment of our forces took place," Schwarzkopf told
the queen, as a battery of maps flashed locations of ships
still in the Persian Gulf and states of readiness labeled
"cocked pistol," "apple jack" and "hot box."
When the queen climbed aboard a jeeplike Humvee, rain intensified.
She was wrapped in a poncho and shielded by an umbrella as she was
driven along a flight line of 60 F-16 fighter jets.
At a hangar, she inspected a fighter jet and talked with
military families, including troops from Operation Desert
Storm and Royal Air Force pilots.
In Texas, the queen will spend three days visiting Austin,
San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. After her arrival Monday
afternoon in Austin, she praised the state's colorful history
and Texans' pride.
"No state commands such fierce pride and loyalty. Lesser
mortals are pitied for their misfortune in not being born
Texans," she told a cheering crowd of several thousand who
had waited for hours on the Capitol lawn.
The royal couple are hosts at a thank-you dinner Wednesday
night at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts before the queen heads
for Lexington, Ky., and a weekend at a horse farm. Prince Philip