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On Her Majesty’s Naval Service: Daniel Craig given honorary commander rank to match 007

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James Bond actor Daniel Craig has been made an honorary commander in the Royal Navy – matching the on-screen rank of 007.

It comes ahead of the premiere of the newest Bond instalment, the repeatedly delayed No Time To Die, which marks Craig’s last outing as the famous spy.

He has played 007 in five films spanning 15 years, with the filmmakers working closely with the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence on the latest production.

Skyfall - 2012
Skyfall - Daniel Craig
Image: Craig’s honorary rank now matches that of his on-screen counterpart

Warship HMS Dragon features in the film, with a sneak preview of the distinct Type 45 destroyer – with a red dragon emblem on the hull – seen cutting through the waves in the most recent trailer.

Commander Craig said: “I am truly privileged and honoured to be appointed the rank of Honorary Commander in the senior service.”

The 53-year-old is keen to support personnel within the Royal Navy and has a particular interest in service families, the navy said in a statement.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said: “I am delighted to welcome honorary Commander Daniel Craig to the Royal Navy.

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“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.”

Ministry of Defence handout image of actor Daniel Craig (right), best known for playing the role of James Bond in the long-running 007 film series, wearing the honorary Royal Navy rank of Commander he has received from the Head of the Royal Navy, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin (left), at the Corinthia Hotel. Pic:LPhot Lee Blease/PA
Image: First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said he hoped Craig would meet more navy personnel in the coming years

As well as HMS Dragon, the Royal Air Force also granted filmmakers access to key assets and personnel.

RAF Brize Norton was used as a backdrop in the film, standing in for a Nato airbase in Noway.

Meanwhile, the army supplied troops from the Household Cavalry.

No Time To Die has been pushed back by seven months due to the coronavirus outbreak
Image: No Time To Die finally releases in the UK on 30 September after multiple delays

Real life Lieutenant Commander Bond – who serves at the Royal Navy’s headquarters in Portsmouth – was invited to meet Craig ahead of the launch of the new film.

Lt Cdr Frances Bond said: “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.

“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.”