Sir Wacko fails to make history

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The Independent Online
RACING to rehabilitate himself after last year's legal and public relations woes, Michael Jackson has apparently been seeking help from Buckingham Palace, writes David Usborne in New York. One of his thoughts: how about becoming Sir Michael?

It was with that notion that the office of Sandy Gallin, the pop star's manager, contacted the British embassy in Washington. Only after staff had stopped laughing long enough to realise it was not a joke was a telephone conversation arranged between Mr Gallin and the British Ambassador, Sir Robin Renwick.

Embassy officials were discreet, but sources confirm thatMr Gallin wanted to know how the King of Pop might get a gong, even a knighthood.

At the time, he was working on his album, HIStory, released last week, and seeking to repair an image damaged by allegations of child-molestation.

Doubtless employing his best diplomatic tone, Sir Robin explained honours were generally bestowed in recognition of special services to society.

It is rumoured - though this may be cruel invention - that Jackson's work with children was suggested as possibly being worthy of reward.

The star is also believed to have approached Princess Diana to appear on his new album.

A coy Buckingham Palace said: "Over the years there have been a lot of invitations from Mr Jackson's organisation for Princess Diana to appear with him, and they have been declined."