ACTOR Damian Lewis is to receive a gong in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his charity work.
The Homeland star, whose actress wife Helen McCrory died of cancer last year, will be awarded a CBE this week.
Damian, 51, has quietly carried out work for several charities over many years, some of it with Peaky Blinders star Helen.
A friend said: “This is richly deserved for all the work Damian has done for so many people with so much done with little or no public fanfare.”
The royal recognition comes after Damian, who played Henry VIII in BBC drama Wolf Hall, was awarded an OBE by Prince William in 2014.
The father of two is an ambassador for a number of organisations, including youth charity The Prince’s Trust.
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He revealed last year that he and Helen helped raise £1.5million to feed NHS staff during the Covid lockdowns. The Band of Brothers star said 40,000 meals a day were provided to 100 hospitals.
Damian, who also starred in Sky Atlantic’s Billions, travelled to Bolivia in 2005 as part of his work for Christian Aid, which funds some of the world’s poorest countries.
He was last seen on TV this month co-hosting the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration at Windsor Castle.
Damian was also joined by a host of stars this month for a touching memorial service for his late wife.
Actors included Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Keeley Hawes were among the guests for the service at St Paul’s Church in central London.
Helen, who played matriarch Aunt Polly Gray in BBC’s Peaky Blinders, lost her battle with cancer in April last year, aged just 52.
As part of her legacy, Damian set up the McCrory Award with the charity HvH Arts to help gifted children fulfil their potential.
When Helen’s death was announced, her husband marvelled at her ability to “spread happiness”.
He said she “shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine”. And he added: “I’ve never known anyone so consciously spread happiness.
“Even when dying in her last few days, when talking to our wonderful carers, she repeatedly said, ‘Thank you so much’ in her half-delirious state.”
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Helen, who also starred in the Harry Potter series and Bond film Skyfall, even joked about her hubby’s future relationships.
Lewis said: “She said to us from her bed, ‘I want daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get though the funeral without snogging someone’.”