Angelina Jolie honored by Queen Elizabeth II

Angelina Jolie honored by Queen Elizabeth II

Credit: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

US actress and special UN envoy Angelina Jolie speaks on the fourth day of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London on June 13, 2014. US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the closing session of the four-day long Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which is being co-hosted by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will also appear by video link.

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 5:11 PM

LONDON -- Angelina Jolie can add royal recognition to Hollywood stardom. The Oscar-winning actress has been named an honorary dame - the female version of a knight - by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

Jolie, a United Nations special envoy, received the honor on Friday for her work combating sexual violence in war zones.

Jolie, who won a supporting actress Academy Award in 2000 for "Girl, Interrupted," has spoken of scaling back her movie roles to focus on humanitarian work. She said that "to receive an honor related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to."

Because she is not a British or Commonwealth citizen, Jolie won't be entitled to use the title "dame" before her name. Previous U.S recipients of honorary knighthoods include director Steven Spielberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former President Ronald Reagan.

Jolie, who was in London this week to co-host an international summit on sexual violence, was one of hundreds of people recognized in the queen's annual Birthday Honors List for services to their community or national life.

Most of the honors go to people who are not in the limelight - from soldiers and civil servants to academics and entrepreneurs - but there is always a sprinkling of famous names.

Three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis was made a knight "for services to drama" and can now call himself Sir Daniel. The actor, who won Academy Awards for "My Left Foot," ''There Will Be Blood" and "Lincoln," said he was "entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure."

There were damehoods for novelist Hilary Mantel, author of prize-winning Tudor page-turners "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies," and for fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.

Actress Maggie Smith, who plays the imperious Dowager Countess of Grantham in "Downton Abbey," was made a Companion of Honor, an award limited to 65 people "of distinction."

"Homeland" star Damian Lewis was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE.

The British actor said he was "very surprised but very happy" with the honor.

"I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment," Lewis said.

OBEs also went to Beatles expert and author Hunter Davies, musician Talvin Singh and John Simpson, longtime editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

In the field of science, there was a knighthood for physicist Thomas Kibble, whose work contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson - the so-called "God particle."

Among those honored for charity work was the late Stephen Sutton, a teenager who raised 4 million pounds ($6.8 million) while battling terminal cancer. Sutton, who died in May aged 19, was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE.

Sylvia Lancaster, who founded a campaign against hate crime after her daughter, Sophie, was attacked and killed by a gang of youths in 2007 because of her Goth appearance, received an OBE.

Recipients covered a wide range of achievements, from confectioner Chantal Coady, honored "for services to chocolate making," to civil service debt manager Barry Cox - "for services to debt" - and Arthur Dean, president of the Dwarf Sports Association. He was recognized for services to people with restricted growth and to disabled sport.

Britain's honors are bestowed by the monarch, but recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.

In descending order, the honors are knighthoods; Commander of the Order of the British Empire or CBE; OBE; and MBE. Knights are addressed as "sir" or "dame." Recipients of the other honors have no title, but can put the letters after their names.

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