FOR those who dislike the monarchy, the honours systems and songs about being sexy, today is perhaps not a good day. By contrast, for those who love them all, or just tolerate them benignly, it will surely be a pleasure to say: congratulations and arise Sir Rod.

The singer Rod Stewart has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. You will know him by such hits as Sailing, This Old Heart of Mine and Tonight’s the Night. Older rockers may prefer his earlier work with the Faces, but no one can doubt that his has been a long and distinguished career in entertainment.

Does singing songs merit such a gong? Considering the illustrious precedents of Jagger and McCartney, the case is certainly strong. Here is a man who has enriched the lives of millions. Despite his wealth and fame, despite being born in London and spending much time until recently in California, he has never forgotten his family roots in Leith.

Stewart himself said in 2007, when awarded a CBE for services to music: “We’re the only country in the world to honour the common man.” Among whom he included himself. Indeed, to use the trendy term, the honours system, while far from perfect (see recent examples in business and banking), is more “inclusive” now. Certainly, it has improved since the days when it was reserved for civil servants, aristocrats and diplomats.

It is perhaps undiplomatic to point out that none of Stewart’s songs featured in the Queen’s recently announced top 10 but, since it was revealed that the monarch has “great rhythm”, we’re sure he was not far off. After all, who dislikes Rod?

We may say similarly of the Queen, whose birthday is officially celebrated this weekend. Whatever one’s views of royalty as an institution, it could be argued that the Queen deserves an honour for services to the monarchy. Perhaps getting to meet Rod will be reward enough.