Philip ‘her rock’ May to be given knighthood for political service
Described as “her rock” by the former Tory prime minister, Philip May has always cut a calm and supportive figure in times of political crisis.
The UK’s second ever male consort has his own successful history in the finance sector, but he receives his knighthood for “political service”.
Mr May has worked for years at Capital Group investments, but has made clear in the past that he keeps business and politics separate.
Despite this, it is reported that he had a strong influence on his wife’s decision-making during her time in office.
Close friends have said he was always willing to listen to and critique practise runs of his her speeches.
During tumultuous Brexit negotiations in 2018, Mrs May credited her husband as the one who encouraged her to keep going and “keep doing the right thing”.
Following her infamous speech at the Conservative Party conference in 2017, in which she coughed persistently and was handed a P45 by a prankster, Mr May stood to hug his wife publicly.
Spouses of those awarded knighthoods are formally permitted to be referred to as Lady, though it is uncertain whether the former prime minister will assume the title.
Mr May will join several of his predecessors who have been given honours such as Cherie Blair CBE, Dame Norma Major, and Sir Denis Thatcher.
The Mays met at Oxford University and while studying Philip was chairman of the Oxford Union and a member of the Conservative association.
The couple were introduced at a Tory party student disco and were married in 1980 – they are due to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in September.
Neighbours and friends of the pair from their home in the Berkshire village of Sonning-on-Thames have described Mr May as a “really nice bloke” who essentially keeps himself to himself.