Daniel Craig just got one step closer to becoming a real-life James Bond thanks to Princess Anne.
In January, Queen Elizabeth bestowed the actor with the privilege of receiving the same honorific as that fictional master spy, making him a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. However, the monarch wasn’t able to hold an investiture ceremony for Craig prior to her death, so it was left to her daughter Princess Anne to impart the title. The ceremony was held at Windsor Castle on Tuesday and announced on the royal family’s official social media pages. The palace shared a photo of Anne placing the medal around the actor’s neck, captioned with the classic catchphrase from the Bond films, “We’ve been expecting you.”
Craig received this award from the late queen as part of her annual New Year’s honors list for his services to film and theater. The actor made his debut as Britain’s most famous spy in the 2006 installment of the film franchise, Casino Royale. He announced his retirement from the storied role in September 2021, after premiering his final film as the character, No Time To Die. Back around the time of the first film’s release, Craig was also given the title of honorary officer of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. Much like the Order of St. Michael and St. George, that honor was also bestowed in tribute to Bond who is a Royal Navy commander in the series.
While she wasn’t able to attend his investiture ceremony, the James Bond star did get the opportunity to meet Queen Elizabeth in person in 2012 when they filmed a video that aired during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. In the promotional clip, Craig as Bond is summoned to Buckingham Palace where he escorts the monarch through the hallways while surrounded by corgis before being airlifted by helicopter and parachuted into the Olympics venue.
In an excerpt from her 2019 book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, published by Hello!, the queen’s assistant Angela Kelly wrote about the experience of filming that commercial and getting the monarch to sign off on the idea. She explained that after meeting with director Danny Boyle, she told him and the Queen’s private secretary Edward Young “to give me five minutes so that I could ask the Queen. 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.” But thankfully, Kelly added, Queen Elizabeth “was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately. I asked then if she would like a speaking part. Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: ‘Of course I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me.’”
Listen to Vanity Fair’s DYNASTY podcast now.