Miriam Margolyes addresses accepting her OBE: It goes against everything I believe in!
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Miriam Margolyes, 80, was more than stunned when she received an OBE for her services to drama, in 2002. But the actress admitted she probably shouldn’t have accepted the accolade due to her socialist views.
It goes against everything I believe in!
In an expert reported by the MailOnline ahead of her new book launch ‘This Much Is True’, she recalled receiving the envelope embossed with the royal insignia.
“A lot of people were quite surprised, none more so than me,” she chuckled.
“Some people think that because of my socialist views, I shouldn’t have accepted my OBE.
“Of course, I shouldn’t have. I know that.
“It goes against everything I believe in!”
However, she quickly added: “But I most certainly wasn’t going to turn it down.
“As the Queen was observing mourning for her mother who had just died, it was Prince Charles who pinned on my gong at Buckingham Palace.
“‘Oh, I am so delighted to be able to give you this,’ he said — and I was delighted, too, because we have got to know each other a little over the years.”
Elsewhere, the actress recalled receiving a “royal reprimand” by the Queen; a meeting she had dreamt about all her life.
The Harry Potter actress discussed her one and only encounter with Her Majesty, who told her sharply to “be quiet”.
Miriam remembered her nerves as the Queen approached her during the annual reception for British Book Week at Buckingham Palace, and asked her what she did for a living: “That was where I made my first mistake: meeting the royals does tend to make people daft,” she sighed.
“Instead of saying, like any normal person, ‘Your Majesty, I am an actress who records audio books’, I took a deep breath and replied, ‘Your Majesty, I am the best reader of stories in the whole world!'”
Miriam cringed as she continued: “Her Majesty looked at me wearily, rolled her eyes heavenwards, sighed and turned away to my Scottish friend.”
Asking him the same question, Miriam revealed he handled the query much better: “Listening beside him, I couldn’t help joining in,” she wrote.
“‘How fascinating!’ I said. ‘My goodness, I didn’t know that.’
“Her Majesty turned back to me and said sharply, ‘Be quiet!’
“The ‘t’ of ‘quiet’ was especially crisp.”
Looking back, she shuddered as she added: “Everyone looked down, trying to contain their embarrassment at my gaffe.
“Undeterred, I spoke again, ‘I’m so sorry, Your Majesty, I got carried away with excitement.'”
But things only seemed to get worse from there on out for poor Miriam; realising she had stepped into political territory, the BAFTA-winning actress believed it had become all top much for Her Majesty.
“Alarm crossed her face and she moved away, anxious to put some distance between herself and this clearly crazed woman,” she winced.
“Clutching the handbag even more closely and murmuring, ‘Yes, yes’ to herself, she disappeared into the throng.”
Adapted from This Much Is True, by Miriam Margolyes, published by John Murray on September 16. The book is available to pre-order from Amazon for £10 (RRP £20).
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