Queen Elizabeth II just might be one of the few people who could steal the spotlight from Angelina Jolie; which isn’t too shabby for an 88-year-old woman, whether or not she is a monarch. By putting the two of them together, a full-on eclipse of flashing paparazzi lights could ensue. Jolie’s charity work made it possible to test this hypothesis when she met with Queen Elizabeth II Friday morning to received an honorary degree.
A private audience at Buckingham Palace watched Queen Elizabeth bestow Angelina with her new title: Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Jolie earned the title for devoted foreign policy work that apparently impressed Queen Elizabeth II. Angelina first received notice that Queen Elizabeth II would be honoring her in June, soon after she spoke at the End Sexual Violence in Conflict summit in London.
One of Angelina’s biggest accomplishments thus far is her push to pass the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PVSI) — which she mentioned as one of the most enriching experiences of her life when she first received notice that Queen Elizabeth II would be giving her the award, reported The Telegraph.
“To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to. Working on PVSI and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine.”
Angelina first became interested in humanitarian work after seeing the conditions in refugee camps while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia in 2001. When Jolie returned, she immediately began getting involved with relief efforts for refugee camps around the world — including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Sudan, Afghanistan, and more than 30 other countries.
In 2012, Angelina was promoted to the rank of special envoy for high commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reported Reuters. In the two years since she was appointed, Jolie has traveled to war-torn zones like Syria and Iraq. Angelina has also used her celebrity to promote awareness of the refugee causes abroad, making her charity very visible to someone like Queen Elizabeth II.
A public figure like Queen Elizabeth Queen II knows that humanitarian work often comes home with you, and Angelina Jolie is no exception. Half of Jolie and Pitt’s six children are adopted from poverty-ridden countries — Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
[Images via Flickr]