A high honor! One of the most prestigious accolades that a British native can receive is a damehood or a knighthood from a member of the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth II, her children and her grandchildren are permitted to hand out various awards to exemplary citizens of the Commonwealth. Per the official country’s website, a knight or dame title is awarded to individuals who have “a major contribution in any activity, usually at a national level.” Such accomplishments are often seen as “inspirational and significant, requiring commitment over a long period of time.”
Former Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry received a damehood in October 2021 via the reigning monarch’s eldest children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
“🍰 Arise Dame Mary Berry! Congratulations to the food writer, TV presenter and former judge on @britishbakeoff who received her Damehood for services to culinary arts from The Prince of Wales today,” the royal family announced via their official Instagram page at the time. “🎖 The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal presented honors recipients from all walks of life with their insignia during the two Investitures which were held at Windsor Castle today.”
The cookbook author earned the accolade for her 50-year culinary and broadcasting career, as well as her commitment to charity work.
“I’m extremely proud and honored,” she told the BBC of the award. “I just wish my parents were here — they’re looking down and my children are quite excited. My aim is to pass on the skill that I love so much because everybody has to cook each day. Whether it’s a student or whatever it is, you’ve got to feed yourself so why not learn to do it well and enjoy it.”
The TV personality, who previously baked alongside Prince William and Duchess Kate for her A Berry Royal Christmas special in December 2019, joined an accomplished group of peers who’ve earned similar honors, including the likes of Emma Thompson, Julie Andrews and Mick Jagger.
The Prince of Wales also bestowed the famed honor to the “Satisfaction” crooner in December 2003.
“It was all rather wonderfully formal,” Jagger told Rolling Stone following the ceremony.
For her part, the Late Night actress was knighted by the Duke of Cambridge in November 2018 for her contributions to the fields of acting and drama.
“I love Prince William,” she gushed to reporters at the time. “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 continued, “If you’re first up, you have to be more formal on such an occasion, but he’s looking wonderful and doing so well. He said, ‘This day isn’t about me, it’s about you.’”
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Scroll below to find out which other celebrities have been knighted by members of the royal family: