Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Angelina Jolie an honorary dame

Angelina Jolie has been given an honorary damehood

Angelina Jolie has been made an honorary Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours, with plaudits also going to British stars Damian Lewis, Daniel Day-Lewis and John Barrowman.

Dame Maggie Smith has been elevated to a Companion of Honour, while other stars to be recognised included Welsh singer and broadcaster Cerys Matthews and actress Phyllida Law.

Hollywood A-lister Angelina received an honorary Damehood for her work to fight sexual violence. The actress, who has been co-chairing the End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC) global summit with Foreign Secretary William Hague in London this week, is recognised in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Birthday 2014 Honours list, for exceptional service to Britain overseas.

Angelina, 39, said: "To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.

"Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself.

"I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine."

Daniel Day-Lewis received a knighthood in the latest list. The 55-year-old star is not short of honours - his 2012 Oscar win for Lincoln made him the first man to win three best actor statuettes.

He said: "I'm entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure."

Homeland star Damian Lewis was given an OBE. The London-born actor has become a huge international star on the back of two roles - first in Second World War epic Band Of Brothers and more recently in Homeland.

Damian said: "I was very surprised but very happy to accept. I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment."

The 43-year-old actor, who is married to actress Helen McCrory and has two children, said his family were "delighted, when they stopped asking what it was for".

Damian said he thought he would take his father with him to the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

He said: "I don't think you ever stop trying to impress your parents and I hope they will be proud and enjoy being there with me to celebrate the honour."

Damian is currently filming the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's historical novels in which he plays King Henry VIII, and b est-selling author Hilary has been made a Dame for services to literature in the honour's list. The writer, whose novels about the life of King Henry VIII's adviser Thomas Cromwell have been critical and commercial hits, already has a CBE.

Entertainer John Barrowman said he was thrilled by his award of an MBE and declared: "I'm going to enjoy it for the rest of my life."

The Torchwood star, who has also hosted a number of TV shows and enjoyed a successful West End career, has been honoured for his services to entertainment as well as his contribution to charity.

The 47-year-old said: "It's one of the proudest things, thus far, that has ever happened to me. I never expected to get an honour like this. You hear about other people getting them but never expect it yourself."

Glasgow-born John went on: "I was signing autographs on a Saturday about two months ago and my manager Gavin just went 'oh my God'. I thought maybe something was wrong and he said 'you're getting an honour'. I just stood up and thought 'how can this be, what have I done?'."

Speaking from Sydney, Australia, where he is promoting his drama series Arrow, he said he would be having a small celebration now he could go public with the honour after admitting "it was the hardest thing to keep quiet - I just had to keep my mouth shut".

"I'm going to crack open a bottle of champagne with the people who are out in Sydney with me," he said.

John said he will be accompanied by his husband Scott Gill and his parents when he makes his trip to Buckingham Palace.

Oscar-winning actress Dame Maggie Smith has been elevated to a Companion of Honour

For a generation of TV viewers, the 79-year-old is now inextricably linked with her role as the Countess of Grantham in period drama Downton Abbey, while fans of the Harry Potter films will recognise her as Professor McGonagal. She was made a dame in 1990 and her array of accolades includes a fellowship and a special award from Bafta.

Cerys Matthews has landed an MBE for her services to music.

The 45-year-old rose to fame as the lead singer with Welsh band Catatonia whose hits included Road Rage and Mulder And Scully, before going on to accompany Sir Tom Jones on their hit duet Baby It's Cold Outside.

Cerys, who studied to be a psychiatric nurse before her musical success, has also been a participant in ITV series I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!, appearing on the show in 2007.

She said: "I am delighted to receive this honour, and accept it not so much for the music I've made but for the music I've played on my BBC 6 Music show.

"Folk , blues , jazz , traditional music whose authors didn't receive recognition in their lifetimes. I am passionate about sharing music, through writing books, making documentaries and, of course, through the wonder that is radio, to an ever widening audience - and to receive recognition for this is incredible."

Beatles biographer Hunter Davies receives an OBE for "services to literature". The journalist, who wrote the only authorised biography of the Beatles in 1968, said he thought he was getting a tax demand when the letter arrived.

Phyllida Law - mother to actresses Emma Thompson and Sophie Thompson - has been given an OBE for services to drama and her charity work.

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