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Daniel Craig's duty to protect Queen and Country is no longer just confined to big screen fiction. Ahead of his final outing as MI6 super-spy James Bond in No Time to Die, the actor was awarded the honorary rank of Commander in the British Royal Navy. In case you didn't know, that's the same exact rank held by 007 across the entire franchise.
The news was confirmed by the official James Bond page on Facebook, as well as in a press release from the Royal Navy, which apparently worked closely with MGM and Eon on the 25th Bond film. "I am truly privileged and honoured to be appointed the rank of Honorary Commander in the senior service," Craig said in a short statement.
“I am delighted to welcome honorary Commander Daniel Craig to the Royal Navy," added First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. “Our honorary officers act as ambassadors and advocates for the Service, sharing their time and expertise to spread the message about what our global, modern, and ready Royal Navy is doing around the world. Daniel Craig is well known for being Commander Bond for the last fifteen years — a Naval officer who keeps Britain safe through missions across the globe. That’s what the real Royal Navy does every day, using technology and skill the same way as Bond himself. I look forward to him getting to see more of our sailors and marines over the coming months and years.”
Believe it ot not, the United Kingdom's navy actually does contain a few real-world Commander Bonds within its numbers like Lieutenant Commander Frances Bond (based out of Portsmouth), who got to meet with Craig.
“I’ve had my fair share of light-hearted banter from colleagues over being a real-life Bond, but I never imagined I would actually one day get to meet the actor who played him," Bond said. “I really enjoyed speaking to Daniel Craig and the rest of the cast. It was fascinating to hear their perspectives on working with the armed forces and learning a bit about the world of Hollywood. There are some strange similarities between what we do. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world during my service with the Royal Navy, like the cast have too with their filming locations."
While James has never done much sailing throughout the series — unless you count boarding a villain's yacht or comandeering a speedboat — his naval service has factored into some of the past films. In 1967's You Only Live Twice, for instance, Bond (played by Sean Connery at the time) faked his own death and was given a burial at sea.
No Time to Die arrives in North American theaters Friday, Oct. 8.