‘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)

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

North Cowichan to add three more off-leash dog areas in the new year. (File photo)
North Cowichan adds three new off-leash areas

Trial program runs through 2021, but not the summer months

Principal Marie-Claude Carrier has overseen the opening of the Cowichan Valley’s first francophone school. (Citizen file)
Registration now open for Duncan Francophone school

École francophone de Duncan opened last fall with six students

Reggie went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park on Jan. 3 and owner Brittny Bukva is hoping for his safe return. (Submitted)
Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

Workers prepare to take down 28 large trees on private property on Mill Bay Road this week after they were intentionally poisoned almost two years ago. (Submitted photo)
Still no charges over poisoning of trees in Mill Bay

It’s been almost two years since incident involving 28 large trees

Cory Harrington has been found. (Submitted photo)
Missing Lake Cowichan man located

Cory Harrington was last seen on Dec. 11

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Most Read