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The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"Between them they have created some of the most enduring female roles."
 real 28k

Dame Elizabeth Taylor
"Me, getting a dameship!"
 real 28k

Dame Julie Andrews
"I said 'Your majesty, you can't imagine what a thrill it is for me too'"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Queen honours movie Dames
Queen
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.

Two Dames
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.

For Liz Taylor, as she is known to millions, her former husband, actor Richard Burton, was on her mind as she headed for the palace.

She told reporters: "I miss him so much. I wish he was here."

She said: "I came to Buckingham Palace once before, years ago, with Richard, when he received the OBE."

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."

Departure
Dame Elizabeth Taylor leaves Buckingham Palace.
Both were born in Britain in the 1930s but have spent most of their working lives in the United States.

Dame Elizabeth, who has been married eight times - twice to the late Richard Burton - described the honour as "the peak of her life".

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.

Cleopatra
Cleopatra: Dame Elizabeth starred with Richard Burton
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 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.

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See also:

16 May 00 | Entertainment
Elizabeth Taylor: A life in pictures
31 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Trio of Dames lead showbiz honours
31 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Hollywood's favourite Dame
12 Apr 99 | Entertainment
A Taylor-made award
15 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Andrews sues over lost voice
31 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Dame Julie: The sound of music
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