Why the Queen Just Honored Margaret Atwood, Author of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Margaret Atwood has just been given a great honor by Queen Elizabeth II herself. Atwood, who is the highly celebrated author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments, has been awarded an investiture by the Queen. Read on to learn more.

Margaret Atwood is honored by the Queen

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood | Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Atwood received an honor for her great services to literature. She was awarded an Order of the Companions of Honour by the Queen. The Royal Family even shared a message on social media commemorating the honor bestowed on Atwood. “@MargaretAtwood was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty for Services to Literature. #Investiture Congratulations, Dr. Atwood🎖👏,” the tweet reads.

Atwood is one of three Canadians with the new honor

The investiture happened at Windsor Castle in the presence of the Queen. Atwood joins the ranks of 62 people who have been given the prestigious award. The royal award is given to recognize outstanding achievements in literature, the arts, science, and politics. Atwood is one of only three Canadians who have the honor.

Margaret Atwood is a celebrated author with a huge cult following. She’s already written over 40 books which include everything from fiction, poetry, and essays as well. When The Handmaid’s Tale was finally released, Atwood gained fame and popularity. But it was with the release of the hit Hulu series created from the book that really propelled her to become a household name.

Atwood was ‘emotional’ in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Atwood says she was “emotional” when she approached the Queen to receive such a rare honor. “I got a bit emotional,” Atwood says. “You’re really looking at a lot of history and I’m old enough to remember a lot of that history. Short form, she was brilliant in the war.”

Atwood continued: “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.” She also spoke after the ceremony itself about the great honor. “At my age, it’s not the usual thing. Usually at my age you sort of fade away and that doesn’t seem to be happening yet,” Atwood shared.

Margaret Atwood also received the Booker Prize recently

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo
Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo | David M. Benett/Getty Images

The honor from the Queen comes just weeks after Atwood received the Booker Prize for Fiction for The Testaments, which she shared with Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other. Evaristo is the first black woman to win the prestigious award.

The Testaments, which is Atwood’s ambitious follow-up to events in The Handmaid’s Tale, was published a whopping 34 years after the first novel was released. The Testaments picks things up 15 years after the ending to The Handmaid’s Tale.

‘The Testaments’ will hopefully be on television screens soon

The popular story has also been turned into a hit Hulu series which just keeps getting better and better. Things don’t seem to have any signs of stopping. MGM TV and Hulu are working together to develop The Testaments for viewer’s television screens.

The Handmaid’s Tale has already been given the go-ahead for season 4. Atwood spoke with EW about whether or not The Testaments could be used in future episodes. “What I have given them, in the locked writers’ room that nobody’s allowed into — including me — is a whole new whiteboard and a bunch of new characters,” Atwood explained. “The story of the characters in the show at the moment is left open, so it’s up to Bruce and the highly competent writing team as to how they get those people into position.”

Margaret Atwood has clearly changed pop culture with her unique novels. It will be interesting to see how The Testaments transfers to the screen.