Royal Navy makes Daniel Craig honorary commander

London (AFP) –


James Bond actor Daniel Craig has been made an honorary commander in the Royal Navy, matching the rank of the fictional superspy he plays on screen, the service announced on Thursday.

The honour comes as Craig, 53, makes his final outing as Bond in "No Time To Die", set for its world premiere in London next Tuesday, after months of coronavirus delays.

Britain's highest-ranking naval officer, First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin, said he was "delighted" to give the honour to the actor, who has played 007 since 2006.

"Daniel Craig is well known for being Commander Bond for the last 15 years, a naval officer who keeps Britain safe through missions across the globe," he added.

"That's what the real Royal Navy does every day, using technology and skill the same way as Bond himself."

Craig said he was "truly privileged and honoured" to join the oldest service in the British armed forces, and that he would use the role to support personnel and their families.

Before receiving the award, he met Lieutenant Commander Frances Bond, who works at the Royal Navy's headquarters in Portsmouth, on England's south coast.

"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," the commander said.

The Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence worked with the makers of "No Time To Die", and the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon features in the film's trailer.

The Royal Air Force was also involved, with RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, southern England, masquerading as a NATO airbase in the film.

Members of the Household Cavalry regiment -- normally seen at the Changing of the Guard at Queen Elizabeth II's Buckingham Palace London residence -- supplied troops.