Monday, November 24, 2014



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11/25/2014 AT 05:25 PM EST
 
She's already been made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II. Now, Angelina Jolie has dived even further into British life by paying a visit to the House of Lords.
Though Jolie recently admitted that she was "open" to running for office, her trip to the heart of British politics wasn't the first step on a new career path.

Instead, Jolie was at Parliament's upper house Monday to see her close friend Arminka Helic, 46, become a member of the 1,000-year-old institution.

Watching from the gallery alongside Sir Nicholas Soames – grandson of Sir Winston Churchill – Angelina told the London Times that she was "extremely proud of her."

"She's been in many ways a mentor to me and she's an extraordinary woman and I'm very, very honored to be here today," Jolie said of Helic.

After the ceremony, Angelina joined Helic's friends and colleagues for tea in the House of Lords' dining room where, in true British style, they were served cucumber sandwiches, cakes and scones.

Soames, who has followed in the vast footsteps of his grandfather to become an MP, said Jolie was "everything I was told she was – wonderful, clever."

He also described Bosnian-born Helic's life as "a great triumph of the human story."

The political advisor fled to Britain from the Yugoslav war in 1992 with her younger sister and has worked very closely with Jolie on her campaign to prevent sexual violence in conflict.

The new Baroness Helic is also responsible for persuading the British government to take up the campaign – starting when she handed ex-Foreign Secretary William Hague a DVD of Jolie's 2011 film In the Land of Blood and Honey.

"She came here with nothing and rose to a peer ... It just shows what a marvelous country this is," Soames added.

Jolie's second turn in the director's chair, the World War II movie Unbroken, has its London premiere in Leicester Square on Tuesday night.












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