Daniel Craig now has another thing in common with James Bond.
With a thoughtful and poignant nod to his screen character, the late Queen Elizabeth made Craig a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in January — just like the fictional spy.
On Tuesday, the British star, 54, received his honor from the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, at an investiture ceremony held at Windsor Castle. The royal family’s official social media pages used a famous phrase from the Bond movies as they shared a photo of Craig’s appearance at the castle: “We’ve been expecting you,” they cheekily captioned the photo.
Craig received the award for his services to film and theater as part of Queen Elizabeth’s annual New Year’s honors list. He made his debut as the spy in 2006’s Casino Royale and played Bond for the last time in No Time To Diewhich premiered in September 2021.
Around the same time as the movie release, Craig was named an honorary officer of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. With that appointment, Craig also followed in the footsteps of Bond, who is a Royal Navy commander in the series.
In 2012, Craig memorably starred alongside Queen Elizabeth in a clip that aired during the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London. After Craig’s character was summoned to Buckingham Palace, he escorted her out along the corridors (with corgis scurrying around their feet!) before stunt actors playing the pair helicoptered across London and parachuted into the Olympics venue.
In 2019, the Queen’s assistant Angela Kelly revealed in her book The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe how she helped present the idea from director Danny Boyle to the monarch. Kelly said she asked Boyle and the Queen’s private secretary Edward Young “to give me five minutes so that I could ask the Queen,” Kelly wrote, as featured in Hello! magazine. “I remember the look of shock on Danny’s face that I would be asking Her Majesty straight away, but there’s no point in waiting around with these things: if she said no, that would be the end of it.”
Although the Queen “was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately,” she wanted her participation to be more than just an appearance.
“I asked then if she would like a speaking part,” Kelly recalled. “Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: ‘Of course, I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me.’ ”
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Last week, Princess Anne, 72, hosted the first group investiture ceremony since Queen Elizabeth died on Sept. 8. During investiture ceremonies, a centuries-old tradition, members of the royal family present medals to those who have been awarded honors.
Prince William also hosted his first investiture ceremony as the Prince of Wales last week, welcoming Vanessa Redgrave as she was made a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the female equivalent of a knight.
“You don’t compare going for an investiture at Buckingham Palace with any other achievement, whatever it is. It is unique,” Redgrave told the PA news agency of the award.
Prince William, 40, also handed out an award to his wife Kate Middleton’s special protection officer, Emma Probert. Probert, who has served the new Princess of Wales since 2010 and is often seen by her side during royal engagements, was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order.