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JK Rowling, Knight of the French Realm (Updated)

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: sue
February 03, 2009, 01:08 PM

UPDATE 4: Video of J.K. Rowling at the award ceremony  is now online here via our galleries.

As reported yesterday, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been awarded the prestigious Legion of Honor from France. Very early reports from the AP say that at "a ceremony in a gilded hall in the Elysee presidential palace," JKR received the honorary title of "knight". Update 1: Photos are now available here via UHP. UPDATE 2: The Washington Post has a quote from JKR at the ceremony where she mentioned Lord Voldemort:

Rowling also thanked her readers in France "for not having held a grudge against me for having given a French name to my evil character" in the series _ Lord Voldemort.

"I can assure you that no anti-French feeling was at the origin of this choice," she said. "As a Francophile, I have always been proud of my French blood. But I needed a name that evokes both power and exoticism."

"Voldemort himself is 100-percent English," Rowling said in French, pleading with the audience that included young French teens to forgive her accent. She noted that she had once taught French in Scotland.

UPDATE 3: Thanks to TLC reader Rotfang, we now have a translation of two articles about the events in Paris today as follows:

President Sarkozy upon presenting the award in recognition of “a woman of exceptional talent” who had returned a taste for reading back to children, said:

“With you they learnt that reading was not a punishment, it was also a source of pleasure.” He also mentioned that 24 million copies of the series had been sold in France.

President Sarkozy continued:

“The award is not only recognition for what you have done for children in general but also for French children in particular … The Harry Potter series is a universe of initiation that allows the reader to both decipher the world and to construct their place within it … it is a vehicle for values, and its educational benefits are proven.”

Jo Rowling’s response was given in French, and, after mentioning her French great-grandfather who had received the Légion d’honneur in 1924 for his efforts at the Battle of Verdun during the First World War (1914-18), Rowling continued:

“It gives me pleasure to think that he would be happy to know there is another Légion d’honneur in the family and that the books written by his descendant gave pleasure in the country of his birth.”

“I also want to thank my French readers for not holding against me my having given a French name to my most evil character. I can assure you no anti-French sentiment lay behind my choice. As a Francophile, I was always proud of my French blood, but I needed a name that would evoke both power and a sense of exoticism. He of course, is 100% English.

Thanks much to UHP for the video! Congratulations Jo!

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190 Points

That has to be one of the coolest honors!

Posted by VoodooDarling on February 03, 2009, 04:03 PM report to moderator
3455 Points

MADAME ROWLING!!!!!!!!!! WOW, I am really screaming my head off! I have been expecting her to be knighted for a while now! Finally!


Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on February 03, 2009, 04:18 PM report to moderator
879 Points

Wow, what an honour… Congratulations Jo!! What do we call her now, a Lady?

Posted by Ascendancy on February 03, 2009, 04:37 PM report to moderator
14482 Points

UPDATE 3: Thanks to TLC reader Rotfang, we now have a translation of two articles about the events in Paris today as follows”

Rotfang07 is that you???? Why have you posted and not said hello? You are missed!

Posted by on February 03, 2009, 04:38 PM report to moderator
179 Points

Amazing. I bet she often stops and ponders the twists and turns in her life’s path. Way to go Jo! A remarkable life for a remarkable woman.

Posted by Mom Weasley on February 03, 2009, 04:41 PM report to moderator
541 Points

amazing, congrats Jo!!

Posted by DuckyLynn on February 03, 2009, 04:55 PM report to moderator
912 Points

Well deserved! I loved the French president’s words and Jo was awesome as always! This is very cool!!

Posted by Felipe on February 03, 2009, 05:07 PM report to moderator
4854 Points

Oh that’s so exciting! Congrats JK!

Posted by Athena ★ROAR!★ on February 03, 2009, 05:15 PM report to moderator
119 Points

Mes félicitations, Jo! Ravi que tu reçus cette distinction! Quel honeur!

Posted by Karrelien on February 03, 2009, 05:19 PM report to moderator
683 Points

Awesome!!Congratulations Jo :)

Posted by xxIBelieveInNarglesxx on February 03, 2009, 05:22 PM report to moderator
1012 Points

Congrats Jo!!!!!!!!

Posted by lnh92(Lorrie) on February 03, 2009, 05:33 PM report to moderator
638 Points

Congratulations!!! That must be so cool.

Posted by on February 03, 2009, 05:42 PM report to moderator
1172 Points

Hey! You can see the video of her acceptance in this link:

You should update the post with it! And if someone could insert subtitles, it’d be much appreciated

Posted by L. P. Dantas on February 03, 2009, 05:55 PM report to moderator
229 Points

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: She deserves every honor and more!

Posted by michaelabraham on February 03, 2009, 06:04 PM report to moderator
176 Points

Wow. Just. Wow. leaky tears

Posted by Azkaban Dietitian on February 03, 2009, 06:16 PM report to moderator
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