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Queen honors CNN's Amanpour

  • Story Highlights
  • Christiane Amanpour receives a CBE "for services to journalism"
  • Queen Elizabeth II presents the award at Buckingham Palace ceremony
  • NEW Amanpour: "I'm incredibly thrilled and very proud"
  • Amanpour has reported from hotspots including Iraq, Somalia and the Balkans
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- She has reported from the front lines of conflicts around the world, interviewed world leaders, and investigated the important issues of our time. And on Tuesday, CNN's Christiane Amanpour received an honor from Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her work.

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Christiane Amanpour's award recognizes her services to journalism.

Amanpour received a CBE, or Commander in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, "for services to journalism." The queen bestowed the honor on Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent, at a ceremony in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace, London.

Wearing a white skirt suit and formal brown hat with a bow, Amanpour approached the queen and bowed. The queen, dressed in a bright blue dress, then pinned the medal on Amanpour's lapel.

"I'm incredibly thrilled and very proud," Amanpour told CNN afterwards.

Amanpour and the queen briefly chatted during the ceremony, and Amanpour revealed afterwards that the monarch asked about CNN.

"I reminded her that she had actually opened the CNN London bureau, our new London offices, back in 2001 and she had a broad smile when I reminded her of that," Amanpour said.

The medal is a blue and gold cross on a red ribbon with the motto, "For God and the Empire." The award was created in 1917 by King George V, who wanted a way to recognize the large numbers of people in the British empire who were helping in the effort during World War One.

The CBE ceremony is formally called an "investiture," with 20 held each year for those receiving the award.

Amanpour said it was "moving" to witness active military personnel receiving the same award Tuesday -- as well as the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest military award.

The award is considered a major honor for a British citizen and is one rank below knighthood. The British Cabinet Office, which approves the list of recipients, said the CBE rewards a "highly distinguished, innovative contribution" in the person's area of activity. Amanpour said she is especially proud that the award simply recognizes her work in journalism.

"I think that's what's important to recognize in the current climate," she said. "With so much lack of seriousness, so much weight put to sensationalism and tabloidism, I think this is -- I say for myself personally -- a really nice moment to recognize that actually serious journalism is being recognized."

Amanpour has reported on most crises from the world's many news hotspots including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda and the Balkans. She recently completed a year-long investigation into religious extremism titled "God's Warriors."

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Amanpour has said she shares the honor with colleagues and friends who believe in the same kind of journalism, as well as those who have died or been hurt reporting from the front lines.

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But Amanpour -- born to an Iranian father and a British mother -- says it's also a great personal honor.

"Personally, as a British subject, this is very nice for my British half," she said with a smile. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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