‘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

Rob and Jennifer King run Sasquatch Cyclery out of their garage. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
‘Hop on it now’: Parts crunch hits cycling

New bikes are hard to get and used bikes are selling at a premium this year

Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society runs a museum that was established to display the heritage of the "no-longer towns" of Michel and Natal, and the Elk Valley Area. Photo Submitted/Monica Beranek, Artifact Curator
Sparwood Museum requests a leg up to stay open full-time

The museum is volunteer-run, but needs a full-time employee to be able to snag much-needed grants

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Electric Vehicles a rare sight (in the Kootenays), but change on the way

Electric pickups will increase the appeal of zero-emission vehicles in years to come according to Blair Qualey of the New Car Dealers Association

Linda Krawczyk and her dad Doug Finney enjoyed a ride around beautiful Fernie on Friday thanks to Melanie Wrigglesworth and the local chapter of Cycling Without Age. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Cycling Without Age goes for its first spin

Doug Finney (86) got to enjoy a ride around Fernie

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
80-million-year-old turtle find on B.C. river exciting fossil hunters

Remains of two-foot creature of undetermined species will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

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

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Most Read