Fans floored as Queen's birthday honours list reveals actress Olivia Colman's real name

Olivia Colman
(Image credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

The Crown actress Olivia Colman has been made a CBE in the Queen's annual Birthday Honours List.

The Oscar award winner, who has starred in Broadchurch and The Favourite, and has joined a list of volunteers, campaigners, and other celebrities, has been nominated for her services to drama.

Of the nomination, she said she was, "thrilled, delighted and humbled to be in the company of these incredible people, most of whom have been nowhere near as visible as I have, but should be. It's such an honour."

MORE:The significant reason the Queen always celebrates two birthdays

But something about the announcement left Olivia's fan surprised, as it was revealed that the honour was being given under her real name, Sarah Sinclair.

The announcement said, "There are CBEs for Oscar winning actress Sarah Sinclair (Olivia Coleman)".

It turns out, Olivia's real name is Sarah Caroline Olivia Colman - so when she married her husband, Ed Sinclair, back in 2018, she technically became Sarah Sinclair. However, of course, Olivia still goes by her maiden name for her public work.

TV and film fans expressed their surprise on social media at the revelation, with one saying, 'Equally pleased by Olivia Colman’s CBE and bemused by the fact her actual name is Sarah Sinclair'

While another agreed, 'Most surprising thing out of the #QueensBirthdayHonours is finding out that Olivia Colman's 'real' name isn't Olivia Colman. #everydayisaschoolday'.

And a third said, 'Wait, what? Olivia Colman's not her real name?? I don't know what to believe anymore.... #queensbirthdayhonours', while a fourth agreed, 'why did it take until the queens birthday honours list for us to find out that olivia colman’s real name is actually sarah sinclair???'

MORE:The affordable beauty products Olivia Colman used for glowing skin at the Oscars

Of course, Olivia Colman is the name the actress has decided to stick with, meaning Sarah Sinclair is, technically, we suppose, just the name on her marriage certificate.

In a recently unearthed clip of an interview Olivia did, she revealed that she changed her name simply because she didn't like it.

If the popular actress is handed her CBE by the Queen herself, it'll likely be an amusing meeting, given that she is set to play the monarch in the third series of The Crown.

And we can't wait until it airs!

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly,, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.