Jessica Ellis
November 10, 2015 12:33 pm

Benedict Cumberbatch, noted actor, philanthropist, and man with adorable inability to say the word “penguins,” received a special honor this morning to stand alongside his recent Oscar nomination. At a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the Sherlock actor was awarded the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or CBE, by her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II!

Cumberbatch let on that the honor didn’t come without its share of nerves: “It’s fantastic, it’s quite nerve-wracking, there is nothing really that prepares you for it,” he admitted, speaking to the BBC.

Not only is the honor of the position enough, it was also the actor’s first time meeting the Queen. “I told her I had just got back last night from filming in Nepal, Doctor Strange for Marvel, then I’ll be going straight into the fourth series of Sherlock. She said: ‘Oh, it never stops does it?'”

Exchanging career woes with the British Monarch has got to be a career highlight, but is only one of many things the 39-year old actor has going on at the moment. In addition to his film and TV work, Cumberbatch recently finished an acclaimed run as the title character in Hamlet at London’s Barbican theater. While performing, Cumberbatch also drew media attention with nightly pleas for the audience to donate to causes dedicated to managing the refugee crisis currently facing Europe. That’s Cumberbatch for you, heart made of gold and cheekbones that are basically bio weapons.

The CBE honor is one of several awarded to British citizens for significant cultural, humanitarian, or valorous acts. More importantly, it’s the one just below official knighthood, aka becoming a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. We think that dreaminess and brooding should be factors in his favor in getting to the next level, but the British prefer to stick to merit. Nevertheless, Mr. Cumberbatch joins an incredibly distinguished company with this honor, other actors awarded the CBE include Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, and Ian McKellen.

Related reading:

The photo of Benedict Cumberbatch that made the internet go bonkers

Benedict Cumberbatch has a big request for fans

Images via Twitter and Giphy

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