In 2009, Billie Jean King was one of 16 recipients that year to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S.

On Friday, King was bestowed with France’s equivalent distinction in Paris. At the Élysée Palace, she was presented the La Légion d'Honneur by the nation’s president Emmanuel Macron, who paid tribute to the 78-year-old icon for her tireless investment in bringing women and the LGBTQ community to the forefront as part of her equal rights fight.

Capturing the moment at Friday's ceremony.

Capturing the moment at Friday's ceremony.


A day earlier, King was celebrated at Roland Garros, where she triumphed 50 years ago to complete a career Grand Slam in singles with her victory over Evonne Goolagong. The American was welcomed on Court Philippe Chatrier following Iga Swiatek’s semifinal win, posing for photos with the WTA world No. 1, FFT president Gilles Moretton and tournament director Amélie Mauresmo.