FILM director Alfred Hitchcock, author Roald Dahl and artist Lucian Freud are among the people who have snubbed honours from the British monarch, government records revealed for the first time.
Painters Francis Bacon and LS Lowry, the sculptor Henry Moore and Brave New World novelist Aldous Huxley are also on the list published by the Cabinet Office ministry.
The list names 277 people who refused honours between 1951 and 1999 and have since died.
It is the first official confirmation that hundreds of people have snubbed the offer of knighthoods and other prestigious accolades.
News of people refusing an honour is rare and normally only emerges if they volunteer the information themselves.
The Cabinet Office was ordered to release the details by the Information Commissioner’s Office public body following a 15-month battle.
Lowry, famous for his “matchstick men” style in portraying the urban landscapes of northern England, turned down a record five honours during the period.
He rejected an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) gong in 1955, the higher Commander (CBE) rank in 1961 and the even higher knighthood in 1968.
Bacon rejected a CBE in 1960, as did Freud in 1977.
Dahl turned down an OBE in 1986. Other writers who snubbed accolades included Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis, who rejected a CBE in 1952.
Cinema legend Hitchcock turned down a CBE in 1962 but accepted a knighthood in 1980, four months before his death.
Among others named on the list, writer JB Priestley snubbed the chance to become a lord in 1965, the only case of a life peerage being rejected.
Evelyn Waugh, who penned Brideshead Revisited, turned down a CBE in 1959.
Brief Encounter actor Trevor Howard refused a CBE offer in 1982.
Philip Larkin rejected an OBE in 1968, while fellow poet Robert Graves turned down the CBE in 1957.
“It is entirely an individual’s choice as to whether they accept an honour,” said a Cabinet Office spokesman.
“People refuse honours for a variety of reasons but the numbers are very small and represent around 2 per cent of nominations.”
Beatles legend John Lennon publicly returned his MBE medal in 1969 in protest over Britain’s hand in the Nigerian civil war.