We celebrate this wonderful holiday with family and friends — we indulge ourselves maybe a little bit too much with turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and give thanks, among other great things in our lives, for the one and only Damian Lewis and the characters he brings to life and into our lives 🙂 And then we travel back to eight years ago, November 26, 2014 to be precise, to the day Damian Lewis received his OBE from Duke of Cambridge and made us all proud!
Damian was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) as part of the Queen’s birthday celebrations in June 2014. OBE is part of the UK honor system and it is “awarded for having a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.” Accordingly, Damian Lewis has been commended for his services to drama. You can see the entire list here.
Damian’s first reaction to his OBE was, as usual, priceless:
“I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment. I don’t think our republican cousins quite understand our honours system or are that bothered about it.”
Hmm… Yes, Damian, it’s not like we, your republican cousins, closely follow the OBEs and MBEs here, but… when you are made OBE, dear cousin, we turn into OBE experts in no time! 😀
The Duke of Cambridge (now Prince of Wales!) aka Prince William hosted the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on November 26, 2014 where the duo seem to have had a few minutes to chat about Homeland as well as about the little school called Eton College they both attended!
Damian tells Daily Mail about being made OBE just after the ceremony at the palace:
“I was stupified, I had no idea, so it was a big, big surprise… I remember when I heard I was being awarded it, it was a little bit like “now you’ve got to prove it… ‘It was a bit like being asked to be a prefect, now I have to be extremely responsible.”
And he adds about his Homeland chat with the Duke of Cambridge:
“He said ‘Catherine and I are huge Homeland fans.”
“He said ‘you appeared again the other night briefly, and we all got very excited,’ which is true, but it was also on Sunday night which means he is absolutely up to date with the latest episode and I’m amazed they have time for that.”
So… The day Brody came back did not excite just us, the mortals, but also Catherine and William!
But, of course, everyone makes time for Brody 🙂
Here is a little video just minutes after Damian received his honor — see it if you are curious about where the phrase “Your Majesty” is coming from! 🙂
And the way Damian answers a question from a fan, Jon Holdsworth, in American Buffalo programme booklet, attests to how much he values the honor: “Which moment made you prouder – receiving an OBE from the Queen or scoring in the Soccer Aid penalty shoot-out in 2010?”
Damian’s answer to Mr. Holdsworth:
It may come a bit surprising when you think this is coming from Damian Lewis who LOVES football and Liverpool and all… But then again it’s not very surprising, is it? Penalty shoot is great, so much fun and certainly has some serious adrenaline flowing but OBE is awarded for your accomplishments giving some serious meaning to what you have done with your life so far.
Damian shares another sweet anecdote from his conversation with Prince William at New Yorker Festival.
Lauren Collins says she read somewhere once that the Queen, no matter what you say to her, she just says “Quite.” And Collins is curious to find out if that was true: “What did she say to you?”
Damian laughs and says:
“I was, actually, given my honor by Prince William, which is very lovely. Prince William had been at the same school that I had been at. And I was wearing… ’cause you could go just in your school uniform… …so I bought a different tail coat in blue, and I just said “Your Highness…I’m wearing mine in blue, you know, I did not want to wear my school uniform… He’s quick as a flash… He just looked at me and said ‘you wouldn’t fit into that anymore, would you?’ That was all in Buckingham Palace just as he was pinning the medal on my chest.”
“I met the Queen at Windsor Castle. She’s absolutely fantastic. And we talked races, she asked about a racing tip.”
Hmmm… Are they talking about races here? And, hey, I am curious if the Queen asks for a racing tip from Damian or Helen… Well, you know, Aunt Pol (Peaky Blinders, anyone?) knows a thing or two about races!
And, hey, talking about Helen and the Queen… Helen also received her OBE in 2017, and from the Queen herself, increasing the number of OBE holders in her household to two, with her proud husband beaming by her side.
And when I watch this little interview with her, I spy with my little eye a certain OBE holder on the far right 😀 And the older gentleman he is talking to is Mr. Iain McCrory, his father-in-law!
We’re proud of you, cousins!