Angelina Jolie Receives Her 'Honorary Dame' Award from Queen Elizabeth
10/10/2014 AT 10:50 AM EDT
The actress and humanitarian, 39, had a private audience with the Queen, 88, who presented her with the physical symbol of her recently bestowed title of honorary dame – the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.
They met for about 20 minutes, a palace source tells PEOPLE, with most of the time taken up by the presentation and a following conversation the Queen had with Jolie, who wore a dove grey suit by British couture house Ralph & Russo.
Then, in what must have been a memorable moment for the family, Pitt, 50, and the couple's six children – Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox – were ushered in to the grand 1844 Room to be presented to the Queen.
Unfortunately, no media – or spokespeople for the royal family – were in attendance, so there are no details of the meeting. A royal source says that while there was a "serious nature" to the visit, the atmosphere at the palace meeting "was a happy family one."
It was revealed in June that Jolie was being made an honorary dame in the list of recipients issued to mark the Queen's birthday. The title recognizes Jolie's work in founding of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) and the contribution she has made toward the British foreign policy objective of ending sexual violence in conflict.
The Jolie-Pitts have had much to celebrate of late. In August they were toasting their secret wedding at their countryside home in France.
Audiences with the Queen are not announced, so it had not been made public that Jolie had an appointment at the palace Friday.
The family is thought to have come in from Gozo, one of the Maltese islands, where they are living during the making of the upcoming film By the Sea.
Honors such as the conferring of knights and dames, and others like CBE and OBE medals, are normally given in public ceremonies. But sometimes they take place in private at home or abroad – especially if the recipient, like Jolie, is not British.