Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been made a Companion of Honour.
Rowling, 52, was presented with the prestigious award by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (December 12).
The Companion of Honour is an award established in 1917 and only held by 65 people at any time. It recognises services of national importance.
Rowling was recognised for her services to literature and philanthropy. Other living members of the Companions of Honour include Stephen Hawking, David Attenborough, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith and Delia Smith. Paul McCartney is expected to be presented with the award shortly.
In a statement, Rowling said that she felt “deeply honoured and proud”, adding: “To be included in the distinguished and diversely talented company of the other Companions of Honour, especially as a female writer, is a particular privilege.”
Rowling was previously awarded an OBE in 2001.
Meanwhile, Rowling recently responded to the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp’s casting in Fantastic Beasts 2.
The author said that while she initially thought that Depp would “be wonderful in the role” of Grindelwald, she was “deeply concerned” when allegations of domestic abuse emerged (the domestic abuse case brought forward by Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard was settled last year).
Rowling went on to describe the “questions and concerns” about continuing to work with Depp as “legitimate” and admits that the “possibility of recasting” was considered.
“The filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies,” the author said.
Rowling’s statement has since been criticised by Amber Heard.