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A fictional queen meets real-life royalty: Princess Anne honours actress Olivia Colman at latest royal investiture

Princess Anne, Princess Royal
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She’s starred in The Favourite as Queen Anne and will hit our television screens later in November as Queen Elizabeth II on the new series of The Crown, but this week Olivia Colman came face-to-face with a member of the real royal family.

The Princess Royal presented the BAFTA and Academy Award-winning actress with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in honour of services to drama during Thursday’s royal investiture held at Buckingham Palace.

Whether or not the timing of Colman’s CBE was intentional as not to have the fictional QEII meet the actual Queen, we’ll never know, but The Crown star grinned widely as she spoke with Princess Anne.

The actress, who is taking over the role of The Queen from Claire Foy, received the honour under her given name, Sarah Sinclair. Colman wore a bespoke Emilia Wickstead trapeze-style tartan coat dress for the ceremony, according to the designer’s Instagram account.

The character of Princess Anne will make her first appearance on The Crown this season, with the role of the young Princess Royal being played by newcomer Erin Doherty.

Other familiar faces recognised during the investiture include former Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey, who was awarded an OBE for his services to music, and historian, author, and TV presenter Bettany Hughes, who received her OBE for services to history.

British cave divers Joshua Bratchley and Connor Roe, who were part of the team that rescued the Thai boys trapped in a cave last year, also were honoured Thursday, receiving MBEs from Princess Anne.

British Wheelchair Basketball coach Harjit Bhania received an OBE for services to wheelchair basketball and Dr Jaqueline Gerrard, former Director of the Royal College of Midwives, was honoured with an MBE for services to midwifery and women.

“Today has been really special because the Princess Royal presented me with the honour and the Princess Royal is patron of the Royal College of Midwives,” Dr Gerrard said.

Each year, around 30 investitures are held with awards given out to high-achieving citizens from every section of life.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.