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Benedict Cumberbatch honoured with CBE by Queen at Buckingham Palace

Benedict Cumberbatch honoured with CBE by Queen at Buckingham Palace

“… it was a present from a certain gracious lady …”

– The Adventure of The Bruce Partington Plans (BRUC)

Benedict Cumberbatch, with wife Sophie Hunter, displaying his CBE after the ceremony
Benedict Cumberbatch, with wife Sophie Hunter, displaying his CBE after the ceremony

This past Tuesday (November 10, 2015) BBC Sherlock star, Benedict Cumberbatch, received his Commander of the British Empire order from Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. We first reported that Cumberbatch would be receiving this honor back in June.

From the BBC report on the ceremony:

Benedict Cumberbatch has been made a CBE by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The Sherlock star is being honoured for his work as an actor and his charitable efforts.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “It’s fantastic, it’s quite nerve-wracking, there is nothing really that prepares you for it.

“It’s a unique occasion and I feel very privileged to be here and flattered to be recognised in this way.”

He added: “It was wonderful, it was the first time I’ve ever met her and to meet her and be honoured by her was extraordinary.”

The actor was joined at the ceremony by his theatre director wife Sophie Hunter.

Cumberbatch, who is currently filming the eponymous role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, recently completed a three-month run in Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Barbican.

He said: “[Her Majesty] asked me what I was doing at the moment, and I told her I had finished a three month run at the Barbican, which she knew of.

“And I told her I had just got back last night from filming in Nepal, Doctor Strange for Marvel, then I’ll be going straight into the fourth series of Sherlock. She said: ‘Oh, it never stops does it?'”

He added that the Queen “didn’t let on” if she was a Sherlock fan or not, but said: ” I know a lot of the household is, I have been assured they have watched a few episodes.”

On receiving the letter notifying him of his honour, Cumberbatch said: “I thought there had been a mistake. I thought someone had got something wrong.”

But he said the honour would not stop him from speaking out on issues about which he he feels strongly.

Last month, following a performance of Hamlet, he urged the audience to donate cash to the refugee crisis appeal.

“I think the power anybody in the public eye has, is to draw attention to things that concern them at certain points in time, whether it be causes or politics, and I think I had a unique opportunity to do that at The Barbican with the money for the Save the Children appeal for Syria.

“I am in a very privileged position to have a voice and to have a certain amount of people listen to what I have to say.

“I don’t know if this [the CBE] will change that, but I am certainly not going to change who I am because of it.

“It is a huge honour, but I will still speak my mind about things I feel are right and wrong about the world when it is appropriate. Now would not be an appropriate time.”

After the ceremony, Cumberbatch was interviewed outside of Buckingham Palace and we have a video snippet of that.

CBEThe badge for the CBE is in the form of a cross patonce (having the arms growing broader and floriated toward the end), the obverse of which bears the left facing busts of King George V and Queen Mary; the reverse bears George V’s Royal and Imperial Cypher. Both are within a ring bearing the motto of the Order. The badges are enamelled with pale blue crosses and crimson ring, and is suspended from a ribbon that is rose-pink with pearl-grey edges, with the addition of a pearl-grey central stripe for the military division.

Thanks to the 13th Garrideb, Peter E. Blau, for alerting us to the presentation ceremony.


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