Veteran actor Jim Carter, known for playing butler Charles Carson in popular period drama Downton Abbey, has been awarded an OBE.
The 70-year-old was given the honour by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace today (14 March), while he was accompanied by wife, fellow actor Imelda Staunton.
The actor revealed his mother very happy about the news. He said: “I’m honoured. I’m particularly delighted this honour came in time to share with my mum, who is 99 and she was thrilled – she lit up at the news, so that was very good.”
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He also explained why he thinks he may have been given the honour: “I mean, I guess it’s mainly recognition due to Downton Abbey. It says ‘for services to drama’ and I’m not sure quite what services I’ve given to drama – longevity probably as I’m approaching about 49 years in the business – so a long service medal!
“I’m sure it’s in recognition of the popularity of Downton and also personally I like to quietly take it as a thank you for what Downton has allowed me to do in terms of work for charity and fundraising.”
When asked how he plans to celebrate the honour, the Harrogate-born star revealed: “I’ll gather some old mates and we’ll go out and just have a nice lunch”.
Downton Abbey, which also starred Hugh Bonneville, proved hugely popular both in the UK and the US, with audiences enjoying the tales of the intricate lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants.
Set in a Yorkshire country estate in the early twentieth century, the dramas of the characters unfolded to the backdrop of major historical events such as The Great War and the sinking of The Titanic.
The final episode of the ITV period drama aired in 2015, but a film adaption has been announced and is expected to be released later this year.