In black tie and tails, Bob Geldof is transformed from grungy eco-warrior to
elegant senior statesman.
But while the Live Aid organiser certainly looked the part at a sumptuous
¡ê1,000 gala dinner at Hampton Court, he had managed to commit something of a
The former punk rocker had loaded his jacket with more medals than is
considered correct at the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation annual gala on Saturday
Geldof: Medal-ing with tradition
Experts said it would have been more appropriate to wear the neck medal
and breast badge of his honorary knighthood, awarded in 1986, to impress his
host, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.
But he went too far, also pinning the miniature version of the same medal on
his lapel bar. Last night experts said it is not the 'done thing' to wear both
versions of the medal.
Geldof compounded the error by also wearing both versions of the rather
obscure Sudanese Order of the Two Niles on his jacket.
The other two medals on his bar have been identified as the Chevalier dans
l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres bestowed by the French Government in January
2006, and a medal of the Legion d'Honneur, which was established by Napoleon.
Gedolf, 56, last night said he picked up the whole outfit from a costume
shop, but medal historians confirmed that the regalia was all genuine.
William Spencer, from the National Archive, said: "It looks like Bob Geldof
has duplicated the two types of medals on his dress. You should either wear the
miniature medal bar or the larger medals instead.
"It is a real dress faux pas to wear them all at the same time. For Bob to be
legitimately awarded these honours it would be very surprising for him to then
pick some up from a costume shop."
Geldof has been awarded an assortment of international honours for his
charity work and contribution to music.
He insisted the medals he was wearing were not his, adding: "I got them from
a costume shop. A Russian fantasy type thing."