Wonder Woman is officially a United Nations ambassador!
The character was named an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of girls and women — and the two actresses that have portrayed her were there to celebrate!
Appearing together for the first time, Lynda Carter, who originated the role in the 70’s TV show, and Gal Gadot, who stars as the superhero in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, both gave moving speeches highlighting the importance of the superhero’s role on empowering women since her inception.
“I think that it’s such an amazing opportunity for us to share this character’s values and everything that she stands for and just try and inspire little girls and boys and share the message that she has,” Gadot, 31, said to PEOPLE after the ceremony. “It’s the most amazing character. It means the world [to play her].”
As the original Wonder Woman, Carter shares Gadot’s gratefulness in portraying the character and believes the newcomer will be just as amazing when she steps into the red boots.
“I’m very excited — I feel like I just passed the baton to the anchor in the relay race in the Olympics,” Carter, 65, told PEOPLE about Gadot taking over the role. “I think she’s going to do amazing. She’s a great girl.”
Wonder Woman was named an honorary UN ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls through the “Think of All The Wonders We Can Do” initiative that fights for equal rights and treatment for women. It was also announced at the ceremony that a new comic book starring the superhero will be released in 2017 as part of the initiative. The new comic will show Wonder Woman advocating for women everywhere.
Matching in nave blue ensembles, the actresses had a blast, often whispering to each other throughout the ceremony and lovingly embracing several times. They seemed to share a genuine connection through the character as they traded off making speeches to honor the superhero.
“Wonder Woman seeks to promote strength, wisdom, leadership, justice and love — qualities that, combined, make us the very best that we can be,” Gadot said in hers. “Wonder Woman is a fighter, better than most, but it’s what she fights for that is important. It’s her vision of a future of peace and acceptance that makes her the right ambassador for everyone.”
For her part, Carter gave the character a moving tribute that highlighted how impactful she has been for women all over the world.
“In some magical and mystical way, [Wonder Woman] is real. She lives and she breathes because she lives in the stories that women tell me day in and day out. I see it in the women that say that she saved them and inspired them to live through some awful thing that they endured because they saw that they could do something great,” Carter said before addressing the children in the audience and reminding them that the “Wonder Woman inside of you will never let you down.”