Joan Collins‘ appointment as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire was celebrated Monday night during an event at New York City’s Friars Club, where she spoke about the moment she received the honor from Prince Charles.

Joan Collins On Being A Dame

Collins received the damehood for her service to charities during her lifetime – including the Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – earlier this year. Upon learning that she would receive the coveted honor, it was a thrilling moment for the British actress and author.

“’There Is Nothing Like a Dame.’ So many people have sung that song to me,” Collins mused in an exclusive interview with uInterview, referring to the classic song from 1950s musical South Pacific. “It’s been really exciting. When I heard about it at Christmas, I was absolutely knocked out and thrilled. It was something I never expected. [I didn’t] go into this business to become famous or titled or anything like that, so I was really thrilled.”

Collins visited Buckingham Palace in London in March to receive her dame title. Prince Charles pinned the insignia on her jacket lapel at the Investiture Ceremony, expressing his belief that Collins more than deserved to be a dame.

“When Prince Charles pinned the insignia on me … he was very sweet and he said, ‘About time too,’ which I thought was very nice,” Collins told uInterview.

On Monday night in Manhattan, Jerry Lewis, Alan Cumming and more turned out to honor Joan Collins for her dame appointment at the historic Friars Club. The Friars Club, a membership only meeting place founded in 1904, counts Robert De Niro, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbra Streisand and Jon Stewart among its members.

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