NICOLE Kidman won’t be home to accept Australia’s top honour today – because she wasn’t prepared to leave the side of boyfriend Keith Urban.
The Hollywood star was due to be in Canberra for the release of the Australia Day honours list, but wouldn’t come without her boyfriend, officials revealed.
“We almost had Keith Urban to come and perform – it was so close. And if we had Keith, we would’ve had Nicole too,” an Australia Day organiser told Confidential.
With Urban out of the picture, organisers approached Russell Crowe to perform.
While reports this week said Kidman and Urban had broken up, wedding bells are apparently ringing again with the British press setting the pair a date in March, with a wedding in North Sydney’s Mary Mackillop chapel.
Confidential spotted Kidman attending a Catholic service at the church over Easter last year, with the former Scientologist dropping in for a Good Friday mass.
Kidman is said to have rediscovered her Catholic faith over the past two years and has said she would like a church wedding.
However, the church has not taken any bookings for a Kidman or Urban wedding, one of the Mackillop nuns told Confidential yesterday.
“It’s news to us. Maybe she’s thinking about it but there’s been no formal approach,” the spokeswoman said.
A March wedding would be perfect timing for Kidman before she starts rehearsals with Baz Luhrmann and Crowe on their upcoming film, described by Crowe as “the Australian version of Gone with the Wind”.
She will head to the remote Kimberleys in northern Australia for the gruelling six-month shoot.
Kidman has made her mark in Tinseltown but today will be recognised on the world stage with dual honours from the UN and the Australian Government.
The movie star has been appointed a Companion in the general division of the Order of Australia in the 2006 Australia Day Honours for her services to performing arts as an acclaimed motion picture performer.
The award also recognises her dedication to health care through contributions to help improve medical treatment for women and children and advocacy for cancer research.
“I am deeply moved that I have been chosen to receive this prestigious award,” Kidman, 38, said of her Australia Day gong.
Kidman is in the US where she has been appointed a goodwill ambassador for the UN’s Fund for Women.
She will use her status to draw attention to battles against sexism, violence and disease.
NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney was among 662 Australians recognised.
He was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to law enforcement.
TV and radio personality Karl Sven Kruszelnicki was honoured with an AM for his efforts to promote the understanding of science.
Outspoken Sydney chairman Richard Colless awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division for services to AFL.
Rupert Murdoch’s sister, philanthropist Janet Calvert-Jones was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the community through philanthropy and support for medical research.