Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has formally been made a dame during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Dame Vera received the honour for her services to Women and Equality.
Reflecting on her damehood, she said:
Vera Baird said she received a congratulatory letter from Theresa May after hearing the news that she was to be made a dame.
Dame Vera said that Mrs May pointed out that they were from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but told her she had demonstrated the difference a determined police and crime commissioner can make.
"I was pleased to get the letter," she said, adding that her staff have hadit framed.
Dame Vera, 67, said of Mrs May: "I very much appreciate and admire thatTheresa May has pursued tackling domestic violence."
But she said she can see barriers to the progress of women and equality infuture.
"I do foresee obstacles. It's always been a fight, and it continues to be afight," she said.
Much of Dame Vera's career has been focused on civil liberties issues,especially relating to gender equality.