Angelina Jolie received royal recognition Friday after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II honored the Oscar-winning actress with the title of dame, the female version of a knight, for her exceptional humanitarian work.
Jolie, who is a special envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, has now been honored with title of Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George for her work combating sexual violence in war zones. Over the past few years, the Hollywood actress has been working closely with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to eradicate the “mass crime” of sexual violence in conflict zones.
"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," Jolie reportedly said. "Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honor in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime and I am dedicated to it for all of mine."
Other celebrities who received the Queen's annual birthday honors included actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who received knighthood “for services to drama,” actress Dame Maggie Smith, who received the Order of the Companions of Honor, an award limited to 65 people "of distinction," and actor Damian Lewis received the Order of the British Empire, or OBE.
The 43-year old 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," Damian reportedly said.
According to reports, Jolie will not be able to use the new title before her name as she is not a British or Commonwealth citizen. Other U.S. citizens, who were previously honored with the title of knighthood include director Steven Spielberg, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former President Ronald Reagan.