When asked by Ms LaTorre how he would like to be introduced, Mr Irvine said he would like be known as "Sir Robert Irvine, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order."
She told the St Petersburg Times: "He said there were five levels of knights, and KCVO is the highest level of knight you could be. The Queen handpicks you."
Actually, of course, there are 7 active orders of Knighthood* in Britain: Knights Bachelor, the Order of the British Empire, the Royal Victorian Order, the Order of St Michael and St George, the Order of the Bath, the Order of the Thistle and the Order of the Garter. These all have either one (Garter, Thistle & Bachelor) or two divisions of knighthood - in the latter case you are either a Knight Commander or the more senior "Knight Grand Cross".
And, there are 6 grades within the Royal Victorian Order - from the Royal Victorian Medal to Knight Grand Cross. (Ed notes: It does have to be admitted, however, that membership in the RVO is one of the honours actually in the direct gift of the Queen rather than her being advised on appointment by her Government.)
So far from being the highest level of Knight, KCVO (the Star is shown here) is actually 9th of 11* with only KBE and Knight Batchelor as junior (the Garter is the most senior order).
'Tis a pity that although his time on the Royal Yacht appears to have done wonders for his cooking, it appears not to have done much for his appreciation of the (admittedly of limited importance) matters of precedence or, you have to say, mere counting.
* I don't believe that either the Order of Merit or the Order of Companions of Honour are actually knightly orders. If they are then there are 9 orders and KCVO is 11th of 13!