Queen Elizabeth II awarded Welsh actor Michael Sheen the Order of the British Empire in 2009.
However, the Good Omens star declined this award. In a recent conversation with Guardian columnist Owen Jones, the artist explained the reason for his act. Once the actor was preparing to give a lecture, he had to read a lot of literature about his native Wales, including the sad history of relations with England.
In particular, he learned that the first officer of the British Empire’s Order in 1301 was the son of the English king Edward I, who participated in the conquest of Wales by the British.
The immersion in history presented Shin with a sad choice.
“I remember that by the time I finished writing this lecture, I was sitting and thinking, ‘Well, I have a choice. I either do not read this lecture and keep my Order of the British Empire, or I read this lecture, but then I must return it, “said the actor.
Shin claims that his act was in no way an act of disrespect for the royal family.
“I just realized that I would be a hypocrite if I said what I was going to say in a lecture about the nature of relations between Wales and the British state,” the artist admitted.