My name is still Michael Caine, says man dubbed 'Sir Maurice'

For a man whose name has become a catchphrase for millions, it was perhaps unsurprising that Michael Caine entered Buckingham Palace yesterday under an apparent alias.

For a man whose name has become a catchphrase for millions, it was perhaps unsurprising that Michael Caine entered Buckingham Palace yesterday under an apparent alias.

The 67-year-old actor, whose dead-pan Cockney pronunciation is regurgitated by impersonators at will, chose to collect his knighthood under the name of his fish porter father, Maurice.

Plain old Michael Caine, a south London boy of low beginnings turned Hollywood superstar and restaurateur, therefore became Sir Maurice Micklewhite - the name he was given at birth.

It was, he said, a tribute to his background: "I was named after my father and I was knighted in his name because I love my father. I always kept my real name - I'm a very private and family-orientated person."

But the key question of the day was: how would the latest veteran of the silver screen to collect a royal gong now introduce himself - "My name is Sir Maurice" or "My name is Sir Michael"?

Any emerging identity crisis was resolved with typical Caine candour. He said: "I'm both, but I will use Sir Michael Caine."

Kneeling down in front of the Queen and waiting to be dabbed twice on the shoulder with a sword was the ultimate high, according to Sir Michael.

He said: "Being knighted is an extraordinary honour for me. It's the recognition of a lifetime - this is the top one."

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