Michael Sheen reveals he gave back OBE to avoid being a 'hypocrite' after criticising England's treatment of Welsh

ACTOR Michael Sheen has revealed he handed back his OBE — so he could talk about Welsh “humiliation” without being a hypocrite.

Newport-born Sheen was awarded the OBE in 2009 for his services to drama.


But he said he returned it in 2017 after researching for a lecture the “tortured” historic relationship between Wales and England.

Sheen — whose films include Frost/Nixon and The Damned United — said: “I remember thinking, ‘Well, I have a choice’ — either I don’t give this lecture and hold on to my OBE or I give this lecture and give the OBE back.”

He said he did not announce his decision at the time, fearing some people would find it insulting.

Interviewed on YouTube, he said the Queen was a “remarkable person who has “done exemplary service to the country”.

But he called for a “break” in the tradition of making the monarch’s heir the Prince of Wales.

He said the title, which Prince William will inherit, was a “humiliation” for the Welsh as it was first given to an Englishman by King Edward I in 1301 to “keep down the Welsh rebellion”.

Dad-of-two Sheen, 51, said he meant “absolutely no disrespect” in returning the OBE and he felt “incredibly honoured” to have received it.

But he added: “I just realised I’d be a hypocrite if I said the things I was going to say in the lecture about the nature of the relationship between Wales and the British state.”



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