Monday 14 October 2019

It's Dame Angelina Jolie - actress given honour for her campaigning work

Actress Angelina Jolie is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Actress Angelina Jolie is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Actress Angelina Jolie. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Jolie is receiving an honorary damehood (DCMG) for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end war zone sexual violence. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Press Association

Oscar-winning film star Angelina Jolie has been made an honorary dame by the Queen for her campaigning work fighting sexual violence and for services to UK foreign policy.

The actress, best known for her role in Hollywood blockbuster Tomb Raider, was presented with the award during a private audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Jolie was recognised in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Birthday 2014 Honours list and received the honorary damehood (DCMG) for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end war-zone sexual violence.

During the audience, the Queen presented the actress with the insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George.

Actress Angelina Jolie is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Actress Angelina Jolie is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The award was first announced in June during the week when Jolie was co-chairing the End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC) global summit in London with then foreign secretary William Hague.

Her work as a committed humanitarian runs parallel to her career as a leading actress who has been a huge box office draw for more than a decade.

The 39-year-old star has been described by US Secretary of State John Kerry as a "fierce and fearless advocate'' and he said her dedication to campaigning could overtake her successful film career as her lasting legacy.

Jolie, whose partner is Fight Club heartthrob Brad Pitt, said at the time the award was announced: "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.''

After the presentation took place in the Palace's 1844 room, Pitt and the couple's six children were shown in and presented to the Queen.

As an American citizen the actress cannot style herself a Dame but can use the initials of the award - DCMG - after her name.

Honorary damehoods and knighthoods are conferred by the Queen, on the advice of the Foreign Secretary, on those who have made an important contribution to relations between their country and Britain.

Other past recipients include include U2 frontman Bono, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and veteran broadcaster Terry Wogan.

Jolie, who won an Oscar for best supporting actress in the drama Girl, Interrupted, is co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) and she is also special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Since co-founding PSVI with Mr Hague in May 2012, Jolie has made an exceptional contribution to the development, promotion and impact of this major UK objective.

Building on her long-term humanitarian work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), she has been at the forefront of the initiative to highlight and seek justice for the plight of some of the most vulnerable people on the planet - the victims of sexual violence in conflict.

A film Jolie made - In The Land Of Blood And Honey - brought her and Mr Hague together, leading to the ESVC summit at the ExCel exhibition centre in London's Docklands in June.

Jolie has said she was ''very moved'' that the 2011 film, which is set in Bosnia during the conflict and explores the issue of women suffering from sexual violence, was responded to by Mr Hague.

The actress announced in a New York Times article last year that she had a preventative double mastectomy.

She took the decision to have the procedure because she carries the ''faulty'' gene BRCA1, which sharply increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

PA Media

Also in this section