Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter has received an OBE for services to drama. The 70-year-old, who is known for playing butler Charles Carson in the beloved period drama, was honoured by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace during the investiture ceremony on Thursday. Following the service, the British star happily posed for photos alongside his wife, Harry Potter actress Imelda Staunton.
Jim Carter with his wife Imelda Staunton
The ceremony comes shortly after it was announced that Jim had been recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours. "I mean, I guess it's mainly recognition due to Downton Abbey," he said at the time. "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!" He added: "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."
Of the honour, he said: "I hope it's in recognition for my charity work as well - I mean we get enough recognition for our day job. So I'm accepting this for drama and services to charity, in my mind that's how I think of it." He added: "That's the joy of Downton Abbey, it gives you the profile you can then use for good effect." Jim has starred in a range of films including 1996's Brassed Off, about the troubles faced by a colliery brass band following the closure of their pit, and appeared in memorable TV series like Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective.
The big-screen adaptation of Downton Abbey will be released in the autumn and speaking about its success, Jim said: "We thought it was good, and Maggie Smith was in it so there is a stamp of quality, but you never know with any script what's going to take off and what isn't." He continued: "It became a global phenomenon really. It took off all over the world and nobody could predict that, you'd be mad if you did. And 40 years into your career, to get a boost like that was very welcome."
Jim's wife was awarded a CBE for her services to drama in 2016. The actor met during the rehearsals for Guys And Dolls in 1982, and they married three years later. Their daughter, Bessie, was born in 1993. "We've been lucky because we've both always worked," Imelda has previously said. "It can be difficult when one half of an acting couple is more successful than the other, and much more difficult when the successful one is the woman. But we've been alright. We've been married 20 years and only been apart for three weeks."
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