By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
May 23, 2012

FORTUNE — It’s perhaps fitting that Shane Richmand’s long profile of Jony Ive in Wednesday’s Telegraph begins with a tour of London’s Covent Garden Apple Store in which nobody except one staffer recognizes Apple’s (AAPL) senior vice president for industrial design — arguably the second most powerful employee in the world’s most valuable company.

Steve Jobs was Apple’s frontman. Tim Cook made the supply chains run on time. But it was Ive who gave the company’s physical products — the iMac, the iPod, the MacBooks, the iPhone, the iPad — their distinctive look and feel.

Nobody at Apple, Jobs told his biographer, was allowed to tell Ive what to do: “That’s the way I set it up.”

The Crown, at least, recognized Ive’s contribution to Apple’s success. In Buckingham Palace Wednesday, with the touch of a sword on each shoulder by Princess Anne, Ive became Sir Jony (KBE), Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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