Angelina Jolie and Stephen Sutton have both been named in Queen Elizabeth II’s honors list. The list is part of her birthday celebrations, and names various people who have offered something to the community. While others have also been named, the two stand out for various reasons.
The Maleficent actress will not be able to use her new title “dame” as it is only an honorary one. The Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland acknowledges the work that Jolie has done to help campaign against wartime rape. However, the actress is not a UK or Commonwealth citizen, and therefore cannot officially be given the title.
This is not the first time a non-U or Commonwealth citizen has been given the title. Ronald Reagan was also previously awarded the honorary title for his work.
The title “dame” is the female equivalent to a “knight,” and is the highest honor a person can receive. Other dames include Olympian Kelly Holmes and actress Judi Dench. Despite not being able to use the title, Jolie is honored to be given the title as the cause means so much to her. She explained that she would like to dedicate her life to humanitarian causes.
The 39-year-old actress is not the only person to be named on the list. Maggie Smith, Daniel Day Lewis, and the late cancer-sufferer Sutton join Jolie in their names being announced in the honors list. Day Lewis and Smith received have been named “knight” and “dame” respectively. Sutton received a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his charity work.
Sutton died on May 14 of cancer, after battling it since he was 15-years-old. He campaigned to ensure his fight would not be in vain, and helped to raise more than £4 million ($6.7 million) for Teenage Cancer Trust. His effort was never to gain recognition, but he was nominated before his death, and he spoke out about it being an honor. His award will be backdated to before his death.
The UK Cabinet Office spoke about how many people the 19-year-old had touched before his death, and is grateful for his contributions. The teenager simply wanted to raise £10,000 ($60,000) for charity before he died when he first started his 46-item bucket list, and was amazed at the support and number of donations that came in. It helped that a number of celebrities got involved in sharing his story. The chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, Siobhan Dunn, acknowledged that his charity work had really helped the charity, and those who are diagnosed on a daily basis.
Many people were awarded various honors this year, including knighthoods and MBEs. Some are well-known celebrities and sportspeople, while others are known more in their hometowns for their exemplary work. Not everyone awarded the titles are even from the UK or the Commonwealth. There are some given honorary titles, which recognizes their work even if they cannot use the titles they are given. While this is not the case with Sutton, it is the case with Jolie who was named in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honors list this year.
By Alexandria Ingham