Angelina Jolie Named Honorary Dame & It's Rarer Than You Think for an Actress
Angelina Jolie is having a really great Fall, everyone. In addition to getting hitched back in September, Angelina Jolie is now an honorary dame. In case you're wondering, this accolade was not for "achievement in cheekbone excellence."As the co-founder of Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, an international campaign aimed at ending war-zone sexual assault, Jolie is being honored for her work in combatting sexual crime. As E! Online reports, Queen Elizabeth II dubbed Jolie an honorary dame in a private service on Friday morning at Buckingham Palace. Back in June, it was announced that Jolie would be recognized with this high esteem for her diplomatic service as part of the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honors. Jolie said at the time:
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. Working on PSVI 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
You may be wondering if there's a difference between a British dame and an honorary dame. Essentially, honorary dame appointments are given to non-British citizens, and appointees can't officially use their prefix title. Whereas British dames can use their titles whenever and wherever they please. Ergo, English dames like Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Diana Rigg, and Helen Mirren are entitled to use the "dame" prefix because they have British citizenship. But because Jolie not a British citizen, she isn't technically can't be called "Dame Angelina."
However, this doesn't diminish the gravitas of her achievement. Jolie is one of a handful of women in history to be appointed an honorary dame, and the only woman in the American entertainment industry without at least partial British citizenship to receive this honor. The list of honorary knights in the American entertainment industry includes Stephen Spielberg, Bob Hope, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Even if her award wasn't connected with her acting career, the fact that she received the honor as a woman in entertainment makes it all the more significant.
With this title, Jolie is an Oscar winner, a UN Special Envoy, and an at-large noblewoman. I think we can safely call this trifecta of achievement a whole other level of EGOT-ing.