Angelina Jolie is an Oscar winning actress, mother to six children, and the partner of Brad Pitt since 2005.
All very commendable achievements, but none of them are the reason for her recent mention in the Birthday Honors list of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Angelina was awarded the rare distinction of being named a "Dame," the female equivalent of a Knight, in recognition of her work raising global awareness of violence against women.
It is very unusual for people who are not British citizens to receive such an honor, and the problem is that ONLY British citizens, or citizens of countries within the British Commonwealth are permitted to actually use the designation " Sir" or "Dame" added to their names.
Angelina Jolie, together with William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, were the co-founders of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative. Its purpose is to increase prosecutions for sexual violence internationally and support countries in preventing and responding to the global issue.
Jolie issued a statement, saying, "To receive an honor 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 honor in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine."
Fine words, but what to do about the title?
Angelina, 39, has shown that she is not the type of person to be deterred by a small technicality such as citizenship. It may be that she and Brad considered the possibility of buying one of the smaller countries of the British Commonwealth, but that would take time.
The alternative is simply to become a citizen of one of the member states - hence her recent discussions with Namibia. She is said to believe that if she could be known as Dame Angelina Jolie, it would help in her charity work.
The Sun newspaper quoted a source as saying, "Angelina was blown away when she was made a dame. She thinks it will add gravitas to her in her humanitarian work. Gradually she will focus less on acting and more on world issues and this helps to detract from her Hollywood history."
Actually, Angelina did not select Namibia entirely at random. She has close ties to the country; it's where she gave birth to eight-year-old daughter Shiloh - her first biological child with fiancé Brad Pitt - in 2006. Shiloh is a Namibian citizen and has a passport issued there.
A representative of the Namibian Embassy said they would "welcome Angelina Jolie to make an application for citizenship, just like anyone else."
But Angelina Jolie is not just "anyone else, " so her chances of receiving citizenship are pretty much assured.
Just remember -- it will be "Dame Angelina" from now on!