Imelda Staunton to Receive Damehood

Ahead of King Charles III’s official birthday on June 15, over 1,000 people across the United Kingdom were given honors, including Harry Potter’s Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge).

Each year, in celebration of the British monarch’s official birthday, the King’s Birthday Honours list is announced, recognizing the extraordinary contributions and services made by people across the UK. 

Staunton, who is known for her roles in Harry PotterThe Crown, and Downton Abbey, has been made a Dame, stating she is “thrilled” to be recognized for her services to drama and charity.

I feel genuinely humbled to be recognised on the same level as the amazing actresses, all the great Dames, who have led the way for so many of us. It is their talent, dedication, wit and energy that have paved the way for us all and have set the standards to which we all aspire.

Staunton said that her damehood highlights “the importance of the arts” in the United Kingdom.

Theatre, film and television are essential to our well-being, stand at the heart of our culture and are admired throughout the world. I am proud to play my part in this important industry.  

She is also “delighted” that the honor not only recognizes her work as an an actress, but also for the charity work she has carried out.

I feel privileged to be able to use the success I have achieved to help others who find themselves in difficulty and to offer support to all the wonderful charities and charity workers who strive so hard on behalf of others.

Staunton joins a whole host of Potter actors who have also received knighthoods and damehoods, including Dame Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney), the late Sir John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander), Dame Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley), Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart), Dame Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall), and the late Sir Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore). 

Grace Hurley

I'm an animal-loving Ravenclaw with a Masters Degree in Writing and a passion for the Harry Potter universe since the age of five.