Olivia Colman gets royal honor ahead of debut in ‘The Crown’

Olivia Coleman

FILE – In this file photo dated Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman poses for photographers at the 75th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Colman is awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, on Friday June 7, 2019, in the annual Queen’s Birthday Honors list, honoured by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch that Colman plays in the new TV drama “The Crown.” (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE)

LONDON (AP) — Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II – the monarch she is about to play on the Netflix royal family TV drama “The Crown.”

Colman was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, in the annual Queen’s Birthday Honors list.

The performer won a best-actress Oscar this year for playing 18th-century monarch Queen Anne in “The Favorite.” She plays Elizabeth in the upcoming third season of “The Crown,” which is currently in production.

Colman said she was “totally thrilled, delighted and humbled” by the honor.

The queen also made singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, 64, an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE – an honor far from his roots in Britain’s punk and new wave scene during the 1970s.

In a website post entitled “In Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” Costello said he spoke with his mother before deciding to put aside “old doubts and enmities” about the crown and his country’s past as the British Empire and “muster what little grace I possess” to accept the honor from the 93-year-old monarch Friday.

It was a task Costello made more palatable by dedicating the award to his grandfathers, who fought “for King and Country” during World War I, “and because my Mam told me to do it.

“To be honest, I’m pretty tickled to receive this acknowledgement for my ‘Services To Music’ as it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different,” Costello wrote.

Other recipients of this years’ Queen’s Birthday Honors include British-Sri Lankan rapper MIA, whose real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, 43, and Andrew Roachford, the singer-songwriter behind the band Roachford. Both were made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, for services to music.

The honors are awarded twice a year, at New Year’s and to mark the monarch’s official birthday in June. (Elizabeth actually was born on April 21, so celebrates twice, as well.) They acknowledge hundreds of people for services to community or British national life.

In descending order, the main honors are knighthoods, CBE, OBE and MBE. Knights are addressed as “sir” or “dame,” followed by their name. Recipients of the other honors have no title, but can put the letters after their names.

The latest list included a knighthood for Simon Russell Beale, one of Britain’s finest stage actors, who can now call himself Sir Simon.

Recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public, with the awards bestowed by the queen and other senior royals during Buckingham Palace ceremonies.

Famous faces typically are in the minority. Most go to activists and teachers, doctors and police officers – people who do big things in small communities and often labor for years without recognition.

Among this year’s honorees were seven Holocaust survivors awarded British Empire medals for services to Holocaust education: Walter Kammerling, 95, Ernest Simon, 89, Gabrielle Keenaghan, 92, Ruzena Levy, 89, Ann Kirk, 90, Bob Kirk, 94, and George Hans Vulkan, 89,

Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said the survivors provide a “public service” by sharing their stories amid a climate of “rising anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and hate.” Pollock said there are other Holocaust survivors “who have yet to receive national recognition, and I hope that they too will be rightly recognized while we still can.”

The queen also bestowed knighthood on Boyd Tunnock, inventor of the Tunnock’s Teacake, a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat.

“When you get to my age, very few things surprise you but this certainly did and I am deeply honored and grateful to Her Majesty the queen,” said Tunnock, whose family firm has been making sweets in Scotland since the 19th century.

Artist Rachel Whiteread, who won the Turner Prize in 1993 for her concrete cast of the inside of a condemned house, became a dame, the female equivalent of a knight.

Novelist Joanna Trollope and Lee Child, writer of the Jack Reacher thrillers, were made CBEs.

Like Costello, Feargal Sharkey, former lead singer of The Undertones — best known for punk classic “Teenage Kicks” — was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, as was actress Cush Jumbo, a star of TV legal series “The Good Fight.”

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