Years ago, when Wes Williams’ children attended their first knighting ceremony, they asked, “Is there going to be a beheading?”
Luckily, they’re older and wiser today. So they didn’t worry about their father when Williams ’67 recently joined the ranks of knighthood himself. During the ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral in November, Williams was dubbed, with Queen Elizabeth’s ceremonial sword, a knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. The order, founded by the British Crown in 1888, includes a priory in the United States, whose members support the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and relief work in the Middle East.
The knighting capped a year in which Williams, a partner at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and chairman of the HLS Fund, also was named chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and received an honorary doctor of laws from Virginia Union University for “pioneering achievements in law, business, education, religion and community service.”
Despite the accolades, Williams’ head is not only intact, but it does not appear to have swelled. He certainly doesn’t lord his knighthood over others. When asked what we should call him now, he replied: “Hey, you.”