‘Emotional’ Margaret Atwood receives rare honour from the Queen

Author of Handmaid’s Tale receives Order of the Companions of Honour

Author Margaret Atwood holds her award after she was made a Companion of Honour by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, Friday Oct. 25, 2019. (Aaron Chown/PA Pool via AP)

The Queen of Canada has presented the queen of CanLit with a rare royal honour.

Queen Elizabeth has named Margaret Atwood a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for her services to literature.

The 79-year-old author of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and its recently released sequel, “The Testaments,” shook hands with the monarch while accepting the award at a ceremony Friday at Windsor Castle.

Dressed in a dark dress, brightly multicoloured scarf and a wide-brimmed red hat, she told British media that she felt “a bit emotional” in the presence of the royal.

Founded by King George V in 1917, the Companion of Honour is a special award for those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government over a long period of time.

There are just 65 at any one time and a select number of recipients from the rest of the Commonwealth may be considered.

“Short form, she was brilliant in the war,” Atwood told media after the ceremony.

“When you see the Queen at her age and her schedule that she puts out, it’s an inspiration to everybody, you just keep going.”

RELATED: Grieving mom selling signed Handmaid’s Tale to help sick friend of her late son

Earlier this month Atwood won the literary Booker Prize, in a rare joint win with British author Bernardine Evaristo, who won for “Girl, Woman, Other.”

Other recipients of the Companion of Honour include actress Dame Maggie Smith, former British prime minister John Major and South African Archbishop and human rights activist Desmond Tutu.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria art gallery provides Open Space in an online way

View Chantal Gibson’s recent show on the web, hear Indigenous stories on Instagram starting Sunday

Victoria brewery throws support behind still-operating restaurants

Vancouver Island Brewing initiates #TakeOutTuesday to keep local eateries in the public eye

LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Kathryn Calder to perform livestream show on YouTube channel this Friday, April 3

Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

Jazz singer to perform ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with Italian lyrics on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend for outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Vancouver Island musicians in quarantine thank neighbours with backyard performance

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer and his sons play for those in self-isolation

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxophonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Campbell River journalist launches Isolationpalooza II

Featuring all local musicians, a volunteer virtual concert, of sorts

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Most Read