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Kenneth Branagh knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

In an example of life imitating art, Kenneth Branagh, who’s played royalty in several films, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace last Friday, The Associated Press reports.

The Thor director, referring to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, told the AP “it’s been a hell of a year for the U.K. and I feel very honored to be a tiny part of it.”

Branagh, who’s best known as a Shakespearean actor and as a detective in the U.K. series Wallander, was honored for his services to the dramatic arts and for his charity work in Northern Ireland.

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Kate Winslet, Kenneth Branagh get royal honors

Kate Winslet has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for her titanic contribution to the arts.

The actress, who won a best actress Academy Award in 2009 for The Reader and made her breakthrough as the feisty Rose in 1997 blockbuster Titanic, has been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, in the queen’s Birthday Honors List, published Saturday.

Winslet said the honor made her “very proud to be a Brit.”

“I am both surprised and honored to stand alongside so many men and woman who have achieved great things for our country,” the 36-year-old star said.

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh was made a knight and will be known as Sir Kenneth. A respected Shakespearean actor whose films as a director range from Henry V and Hamlet to the comic-book fantasy Thor, Branagh said he felt “humble, elated, and incredibly lucky” to get the honor. It puts him in a pantheon of theatrical knights alongside the late Sir Laurence Olivier, whom Branagh played in My Week With Marilyn.
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