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State & Ceremonial

Emma Thompson awarded Damehood

The Queen’s Birthday Honours has been announced and the list includes a few recognisable names, Actress Emma Thompson being one of those.

The 59-year-old, born in Paddington, London has been a stationary figure in films, not only in the United Kingdom but across the world.

Her work has earned her a Damehood for services to drama.

Thompson rose to stardom in Tutti Fruitti and Fortunes of War in 1987, which ultimately won her the BAFTA for Best Actress.

Her list of film credits reads like Hollywood’s greatest hits, including Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Brave and Beauty and the Beast.

Television and film critic, Mark Kermode has said of her performances: “There is something about her which is — you just trust her. You just think ‘I’m in proper hands here.’ … She’s up there with the great, I mean really great, British female performers”.

Journalist Sarah Sands described Thompson as “the best actress of our times on suffering borne with poignant dignity.”

Emma Thompson is also an active campaigner for youth and women’s rights, saying “what I feel is that we all need to speak up and a woman who has got a louder voice needs to shout very loudly indeed” when The Daily Telegraph suggested that she may be too vocal.

She is a patron of Refugee Council and the Elton John AIDS Foundation and an ambassador for ActionAid.

In addition to her acting and humanitarian work, Thompson has continued the work of Beatrix Potter, adding additional stories to the Peter Rabbit series. She was the first author of an authorised Peter Rabbit story since Potter started the books in 1930.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours, which is one of the two annual honours lists released (the other at New Year’s) in which individuals who have made a contribution to public life, in one way or another, are honoured for their service.