Catherine Zeta-Jones Honored by Queen

June 14, 2010

Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, honored by the Queen with a CBE, says she is overwhelmed by the accolade she received last night at the Queen’s birthday celebration. The Queen issues the honor once a year, in varying degrees, to British nationals who have had a positive impact. Get the full story, with pictures and video below!

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The CBE is the third-highest division of the Orders of the British Empire. Meaning “Commander,” it is just below knighthood, or dame-hood for women.

The award surprised and humbled Catherine Zeta-Jones. Honored at the Queen’s Birthday celebration yesterday, she says her excitement is both personal and patriotic.

“I am absolutely thrilled with this honor,” she told the press in a statement. “As a British subject, I feel incredibly proud. At the same time, it is overwhelming and humbling. And my mum and dad are delighted beyond belief.”

The “Chicago” actress was joined by “The Pianist” screenwriter Ronald Harwood, 75, and Nobel scientist Charles K. Kao.

“It’s more exciting than the Oscar because of the secrecy that’s involved,” said Harwood, who had discovered the honor a month and a half ago but had to keep it a secret. “The Oscar is a sudden shock, you take it all in and people make a fuss. But this feels like a very big event.”

Historical CBE honorees include Eric Clapton, Billy Connolly, Stephen Hawking, Anthony Hopkins, and Elton John. The award means she can now list “CBE” after her name, but won’t technically be allowed to call herself a “Dame,” which is reserved for higher honors. What do you think of the CBE award for Catherine Zeta-Jones? Honored among some truly great British names, do you think the classy actress lives up to her peers ? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!

Also, check out the pictures and video below!

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Photos: Marzullo

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