Daniel Craig To Get James Bond Honour In The Queen's New Year List

It's James Bond time. The Queen's New Year's Honour List will be announced at the end of the week, but there have already been notable leaks. Professor Chris Whitty will be knighted, Joanna Lumley will receive a damehood, but the rarest honour will go to Daniel Craig, who recently filmed his last James Bond movie, No Time To Die. Aged 53, Daniel Craig will receive the Order of St Michael and St George, an honour which is usually reserved for the highest achievements of spies, diplomats, and other Foreign Office workers.

Ten Thoughts About James Bond: No Time To Die
Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time To Die screencap

Founded by King George IV in 1818, when he was still Prince Regent, and acting as regent for his father, King George III, The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George. Originally awarded to those holding commands or high positions in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, it was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. And at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs. It is the traditional award for members of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For an actor to get the job for their role playing such an individual like James Bond, is most unusual. The closest equivalent in recent years would be for David Attenborough.

The honour has a number of flavours, Knight Grand Cross, Dame Grand Cross, Knight Commander, Dame Commander, or Companion, with the abbreviation GCMG, KCMG, DCMG, which come with the Sir or Dame prefix, and CMG which does not. In recent years, the former British Ambassador to the United States, Sir David Manning, was appointed a CMG when he worked for the FCO, and then after his appointment as British Ambassador to the US, he was promoted to a Knight Commander (KCMG).  The orders were famously spoofed in the sitcom Yes Minister, talking about the honours received by the Civil Service.

Woolley: In the service, CMG stands for "Call Me God". And KCMG for "Kindly Call Me God".
Hacker: What does GCMG stand for?
Woolley: "God Calls Me God".

And in the books, James Bond, a commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) was fictionally decorated with the CMG in 1953.  He was later offered the KCMG (which would have elevated him from Companion to Knight Commander in the Order) in The Man with the Golden Gun, but he rejected the offer as he did not wish to become a public figure. Dame Judi Dench's character "M" is "offered" early retirement and a GCMG in the movie Skyfall. Life imitates art for James Bond, it seems.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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