Julie Walters reveals her delightfully down-to-earth 'dame' celebration

Julie Walters
Dame Julie Walters after she made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II at an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Source: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The line from the musical South Pacific goes, ‘There is Nothin’ Like A Dame’, and there sure is nothing like Dame Julie Walters.

The star of a number of big-name movies, including the Harry Potter series, where she played Mrs Weasley, as well as Calendar Girls and Mamma Mia!, has been named Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Queen. The ceremony was held at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. 

Walters is well known for earlier roles in Educating Rita, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for best actress, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 and Billy Elliot. It’s clear that success never went to this performers head at all, though.

Hello Magazine reports that Walters said the most exciting part of the whole becoming a dame was getting the letter in the mail.

“I looked at it and thought ‘what?’ because it’s that sort of very formal speak, ‘what does this say?’ then I saw ‘dame’ and I thought ‘bloody hell’,” Julie Walters said.

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So how did she celebrate the news? By weeding the garden, she admitted.

But when it came to the official proceedings, she admitted she was a bit nervous about protocol. Talking to Press Association, she said it the moment was “not really real” for her.

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“It was slightly nerve-wracking, ‘when do I curtsey?’ But everyone is the same. It’s one of those things where you feel relieved (when you’ve done it), then you look back and think ‘how fabulous’,” she said.

“I thought ‘I wish my parents were here’. It was so numbing. The Queen said ‘It’s so marvellous that you’ve got this, I’m so pleased’ and ‘How long have you been doing acting?’. I said ’43 years’ and she said ‘In so many different things, well done’.”

Walters is busy filming the sequel to Mamma Mia!, and had to take the day off to attend the formal event. She’s said the cast members were enjoying her news as much as she was. 

“They were all joking about it, as you can imagine, there is lots of this (curtseying) going on.”

What’s your favourite Julie Walters performance?