Author Sir Philip Pullman has received his knighthood from Prince Charles - a fan of His Dark Materials.

The best-selling fantasy writer was knighted by the Prince of Wales during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

Prince Charles is apparently a fan of Sir Philip's best-known work - the author revealed the heir to the throne sent him a letter saying how much he enjoyed the trilogy.

Sir Philip said: “I know he’s read the trilogy, he sent me a letter afterwards.”

READ AGAIN: New Philip Pullman novel The Secret Commonwealth is out in October 

The author, who lives in Cumnor, said after receiving the honour: “I think what it means most is that it’s very good to see literature, the arts, the book world, recognised in a nation’s honours list – it’s one of the things a nation should be pleased about, proud of.


“We’re used to seeing sports people and business people and singers and what have you honoured, but I think authors should be represented as well, that’s why I was happy to say yes to this when it was offered.”

The His Dark Materials trilogy consists of Northern Lights, published in 1995, The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000).

A film adaption of the trilogy’s first instalment, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, was released in 2007 under its US title, The Golden Compass and now a BBC TV adaptation is being made, with some scenes shot in Oxford.

His Dark Materials won awards including the 1995 Carnegie Medal, for Northern Lights, and the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year prize, for The Amber Spyglass.


Speaking after the ceremony, where tennis ace Sir Andy Murray was also knighted, Sir Philip said: “I’m glad to be in the same bracket as other people I admire who’ve been awarded this honour.

"It’s nice to be up there with Andy Murray, Chris Hoy and people like that, as well as the many musicians who’ve been honoured.”

READ AGAIN: Philip Pullman discusses his work on BBC Front Row Late show

The author, who published his first book, The Haunted Storm, in 1972, remains a prolific writer and in May last year was named author of the year at the British Book Awards, the latest prize in his career.

Born in Norwich to an RAF pilot, Sir Philip moved often during his early childhood whenever his father was redeployed.

After his father died in 1954 when Pullman was seven, his mother remarried and moved to Australia, before the family eventually settled in North Wales.


The writer attended Exeter College to read English, later joking: “Though I never learned to read it very well.”

He began teaching at the age of 25 and published his first children’s book, Count Karlstein, in 1982 before going on to greater success.

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Asked about the appeal of his books he said: “I think I’m telling a story, everybody loves a story. It doesn’t matter if you’re jaded or sophisticated – everybody wants to know what happens next.”

In 2017 Sir Philip returned to The Dark Materials universe to launch a new trilogy.

The first part of The Book Of Dust triology, entitled La Belle Sauvage, won critical acclaim, and the second, The Secret Commonwealth, is due to be published in the autumn.