‘Downton Abbey’ Star Jim Carter Just Received a High Honor from the Royal Family

Send word to Lady Mary and Mrs. Hughes because Downton Abbey’s IRL Carson was just honored by the royal family at Buckingham Palace.

British actor Jim Carter, who portrayed the staunch but secretly warm-hearted butler on the hit PBS series for all six seasons, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to drama at an investiture ceremony at Queen Elizabeth’s humble abode late last week.

Prince Charles gave Carter his OBE lapel pin during the investiture ceremony and the two shared a chummy laugh together. Whether they were bonding over their love of ironed shoelaces or Downton Abbey is anyone’s guess.

Carter was accompanied by his wife, Imelda Staunton, who played Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It just so happens that Staunton was appointed a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2016 and is set to appear in the Downton Abbey film, so now the couple has even more in common.

With his new OBE moniker, Carter joins the ranks of fellow celebs like JK Rowling, David and Victoria Beckham, Idris Elba, Eddie Redmayne, Kiera Knightley, Judi Dench and Liam Neeson. Iconic model Twiggy (aka Lesley Lawson) received a damehood at the same investiture ceremony as Carter.

The royal family bestows OBEs for “having a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area,” according to the United Kingdom’s government website. It’s no wonder Carter, who captured audiences’ hearts as Carson, fit the bill. 

What better way to celebrate the impending return of Carson and Downton Abbey than with a new title?

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Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.