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Julie Andrews and Elizabeth Taylor are made Dames

Reuters:London Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK

Queen honours movie Dames
Elizabeth Taylor becomes a Dame at Buckingham Palace Screen legends Elizabeth Taylor and Julie Andrews have been made Dames of the British Empire by the Queen, at Buckingham Palace. The Oscar-winning actresses were made Dame Commanders of the Order of the British Empire in the millennium New Year Honours List. The two Dames: Julie Andrews and Elizabeth Taylor display their awards.

Between them they have starred in some of Hollywood's most memorable films and created some of the most enduring female roles - and they drew large crowds of onlookers to the palace.

Dame Julie said: "This is the greatest honour of my life. I didn't think I was eligible as I've lived in America for such a long time but I've always felt I've taken my Britishness with me."

Both were born in Britain in the 1930s but have spent most of their working lives in the United States. The Sound of Music star Dame Julie Andrews, 64, was the first to receive her insignia, for services to acting and entertainment, at a ceremony in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace.

Next, in alphabetical order, came Dame Elizabeth, 68, who received her Dame Commander's brooch in honour of her services to acting and charity - recognising her fundraising for Aids research. Rarely have two such big stars been honoured at the same investiture and - as is now common practice - the investiture ceremony was recorded for television.

An exhibition of portraits of Dame Elizabeth opens at London's National Portrait Gallery on Thursday and she will be the guest of honour at a charity spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 26 May to raise money for Aids research. Next Wednesday, the British Film Institute is honouring her with a BFI Fellowship at a tribute dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Another highlight of a planned series of events in her honour is the National Film Theatre's programme of a dozen classic Liz Taylor movies, including the epic Cleopatra in which she starred with Richard Burton. Dame Julie on the set of The Sound of Music

Dame Julie, who has been married to US movie director Blake Edwards for 30 years, shot to fame in the 1960s with starring roles in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. In December last year, she launched a lawsuit against a New York hospital for damage to her singing voice during vocal surgery in 1997. Among her recent projects has been a British film version of the Noel Coward comedy Relative Values.

(London Times) December 31st 2000 Dame Julie:

Rewarded for her contribution to acting and entertainment Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Dame Shirley Bassey and Dame Julie Andrews top the bill in today's star-studded millennium New Year's Honours List. The trio of British women celebrities are joined by Henry Cooper, Stirling Moss, Richard Branson, Norman Wisdom and Sean Connery, all of whom are knighted in a list containing 1,998 awards, double the usual figure. Elizabeth Taylor, the eight-times-married Oscar-winning actress who found fame in films such as Cleopatra and National Velvet, and Julie Andrews, star of Mary Poppins and the Sound of Music, were also selected by Downing Street in its list of examples of "icons and beacons" who had made their mark on this century and whose achievements would prove an inspiration in the next.