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Author Margaret Atwood holds her award after she was made a Companion of Honour by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, on Oct. 25, 2019.

The Canadian Press

The Queen has presented the queen of CanLit with a rare royal honour.

The Queen has named Margaret Atwood a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for her services to literature.

The 79-year-old author of The Handmaid’s Tale and its recently released sequel, The Testaments, shook hands with the monarch while accepting the award at a ceremony Friday at Windsor Castle.

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Dressed in a dark dress, brightly multicoloured scarf and a wide-brimmed red hat, she told British media that she felt “a bit emotional” in the presence of the royal.

Founded by King George V in 1917, the Companion of Honour is a special award for those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine or government over a long period of time.

There are just 65 at any one time and a select number of recipients from the rest of the Commonwealth may be considered.

“Short form, she was brilliant in the war,” Ms. Atwood told media after the ceremony.

“When you see the Queen at her age and her schedule that she puts out, it’s an inspiration to everybody, you just keep going.”

Earlier this month, Ms. Atwood won the literary Booker Prize in a rare joint win with British author Bernardine Evaristo, who won for Girl, Woman, Other.

Other recipients of the Companion of Honour include actress Dame Maggie Smith, former British prime minister John Major and South African Archbishop and human-rights activist Desmond Tutu.

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