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Dame Judi Dench marks 81st birthday with a new tattoo

30 June 2016
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Dame Judi Dench has surprised her fans by celebrating her 81st birthday with a bold new tattoo. The Skyfall actress revealed that she chose to have the phrase 'Carpe Diem' inked on her wrist, after daughter Finty Williams offered to pay for the tattoo as a birthday gift.

judi dench

Judi Dench has a new tattoo on her wrist

"That's my motto: seize the day," Judi explained to Surrey Life. "Finty gave it to me for my 81st birthday – she's wonderful with surprises."

While the actress kept the news of her tattoo fairly quiet at the time, she was first spotted rocking the inking when she headed to the Duke of Edinburgh's Anniversary Diamonds Are Forever gala. Showing off her edgy side, Judi also chose a temporary crystal tattoo reading '007' in a sparkling tribute to the James Bond series.


finty williams© Photo: Getty Images

The tattoo was a gift from her daughter Finty Williams

It doesn't come as a total shock that the actress chose to get a tattoo, as she has previously admitted to toying with the idea, including deciding what design she would eventually go for.

"I am tempted to have a tattoo to mark my birthday," she told Good Housekeeping last year. "Finty's very keen on me having one."

The Philomena star then confessed that she was considering a particular symbol, but had some reservations as to its actual meaning.

judi williams© Photo: Getty Images

Judi had been considering opting for an inking for a while

"There's an Indian symbol that I like which supposedly represents life and love and everything," she explained. "One of the cameramen who worked on The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel told me what it meant, but I'm a bit nervous in case I'm being set up. It might be unbelievably rude!"

It was during the filming of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that the actress opened up about her struggle with macular degeneration – an age-related disease that causes a gradual loss of central vision.

The screen icon explained that it meant she could no longer travel alone due to her failing eyesight. "These days I can't really travel on my own because I need someone to say, 'Look out, there's a step here!' or else I fall all over the place like a mad, drunk lady," Judi admitted to Radio Times.

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