Sweetie, Darling: Joanna Lumley Becomes a Dame in Barbie Pink

Dame Joanna Lumley in Barbie pink.
Photo by Victoria Jones-Pool/Getty Images

Long before Meryl Streep played Miranda Priestly, Joanna Lumley embodied one of pop culture’s most infamous fictional fashion magazine editors for decades as Absolutely Fabulous’s acid-tongued, perpetually buzzed Patsy Stone. While the Brit-com was decidedly satire, talk to some fashion world vets and they’ll tell you AbFab was a far more accurate portrayal of the industry than The Devil Wears Prada.

The part also helped confirm Lumley as something of a British national treasure (she was also a minor Bond girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, starred in The New Avengers, and voiced AOL’s famous “You Have Mail” line in the U.K.) So it’s actually sort of surprising that only now, at the age of 75, she’s officially receiving an honorary title. Today, Lumley became a Dame as part of Queen Elizabeth’s 2022 New Year Honours (Lumley was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1995, but that honor came without the title of “Dame”).

Ever the fashionista, Lumley showed up to collect her medal in the color of the season: Barbie Pink. While the “Barbiecore” craze seems to have been reserved for the Gen Zers and Millennials amongst us, Lumley proved the color can work on anyone. If they ever made a “Dame Barbie,” is this now exactly what you’d expect her to look like? (Note to Greta Gerwig: you missed a casting opportunity here).

Photo by Victoria Jones-Pool/Getty Images

This is actually Lumley’s second royal engagement of the week. Earlier, she helped none other than Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall celebrate her own 75th birthday at an event called “The Oldie Luncheon.”

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

If you’re wondering why Lumley’s AbFab cohort Jennifer Saunders hasn’t received the same honor, a 2003 leak covered by the BBC indicated that the comedian had turned one down back in 2000.