Emma Thompson, Mick Jagger, and All the Celebrities Knighted by the British Royal Family

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Vogue

Today, Emma Thompson received her damehood from Prince William for services to drama. Sure, the Prince rebuffed her kiss—“I’ve known him since he was little, and we just sniggered at each other. I said, ‘I can’t kiss you, can I?’ And he said, ‘No don’t’,” she told reporters. But, overall, it was a triumph for the Oscar-winner. “I’ve always wanted to be able to refer to myself as a dame. Small d,” she said.

Thompson is just the latest A-list celebrity to receive a damehood (the female version of knighthood). What are the qualifications for becoming a dame or knight? According to the British government’s website: “This is awarded for having a major contribution in any activity, usually at national level. Other people working in the nominee’s area will see their contribution as inspirational and significant, requiring commitment over a long period of time.”

Below, some of the most famous individuals ever honored at Buckingham Palace.

Damehood

Judi Dench
Queen Elizabeth awarded Judi Dench with an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (known as an OBE, given to those “having a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.”) in 1970. She became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1988.

Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith was made a dame in 1990, and in 2014, picked up another title: Companion of Honor (CH), given to those “for having a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time.”

Angelina Jolie

Although American citizens cannot technically become dames, Queen Elizabeth gave Angelina Jolie an honorary title for her work in 2014. (Another honorary knight? Steven Spielberg.) It also wasn’t her acting work that got her the distinguishment, but rather her advocacy to end sexual violence against women.

Helen Mirren

Queen Elizabeth made Helen Mirren a dame in 2003—three years before Mirren herself played the monarch in The Queen, a role for which she won an Oscar.

Elizabeth Taylor

Call her a triple threat: in addition to all the accolades she picked up in America, Elizabeth Taylor also received the French Legion of Honor in 1987 and a DBE in 2000. (Although Taylor’s parents were American, they were in living in London at the time of her birth.)

Julie Andrews

Between Eliza Doolittle and Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews is synonymous with some of the most famous British female characters in the cultural canon. Which Buckingham Palace recognized too, granting her damehood in 2000.

Anna Wintour

In 2017, Vogue editor Anna Wintour was awarded a DBE by Queen Elizabeth, for her service both fashion and journalism.

 

Knighthood

Michael Caine

The Dark Knight star was yes, knighted, in 2000. He used his real name, Maurice Micklewhite, as a tribute to his father with the same moniker. “I was named after my father and I was knighted in his name because I love my father,” told the BBC.

Anthony Hopkins

Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins was knighted by Queen Elizabeth back in 1993, after receiving his OBE in 1987.

Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance is a relatively newly minted knight—the Duke of Cambridge gave him the honor in April 2017. (Also awarded at that same ceremony? Victoria Beckham, who received her OBE.)

Elton John

The singer, who was a close friend of Princess Diana, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1998.

 

Mick Jagger

Sir Mick Jagger is more like it. In 2003, Prince Charles made him a knight at Buckingham Palace. “It was all rather wonderfully formal,” he said.

Paul McCartney

In 1997, Paul McCartney was knighted at Buckingham Palace for his “services to music.” McCartney got a fair amount of ribbing from his former Beatles bandmates—“They call me ‘Your Holiness,” he said. (Ringo Starr was knighted in March 2018.)

Ian McKellan

Like Dame Maggie Smith, Ian McKellan holds a knighthood and a Companion of Honor.

 

Daniel Day-Lewis

The Oscar-winning actor was knighted by Prince William in 2014.

 

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