The royal investiture service took place at Windsor Castle. Atwood, 79, is one of 62 people currently granted the award given for achievements in the arts, literature, science and politics. The celebrated author is only the third Canadian on the list. (The Companion of Honour award is typically given to British citizens, but it is occasionally awarded to people from Commonwealth nations.)
“@MargaretAtwood was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty for Services to Literature. #Investiture. Congratulations, Dr. Atwood,” the Royal Family tweeted from their official account.
Atwood has written more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and essays. Thirty-five years ago, she came to national attention with the publication of The Handmaid’s Tale. Since then, she’s gained a whole new level of adoration following the release of the eponymous Hulu series.
Atwood previously told PEOPLE that her book resonates with people coping with President Trump’s ascension to the White House — and concerns that he will roll back protections for women.
“It’s a women’s reproductive issue that has already been pushed pretty hard in some states,” she says. Beyond President Trump’s personal attacks on women, he has also threatened to defund Planned Parenthood, and banned funding to international health groups that provide abortions.
Despite any apparent parallels between Atwood’s dystopian universe and the current presidency, she says her book was never intended to be prophetic.
“There’s a precedent in real life for everything in the book,” she says. “I decided not to put anything in that somebody somewhere hadn’t already done. But you write these books so they won’t come true.”