Kenneth Branagh Gives The Queen A Solo Performance As He Gets Knighthood

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For years now Kenneth Branagh has been used to performing, on stage, screen and television, but even an actor of his distinction may have felt a few nerves before giving his latest performance.

That's because the Hollywood superstar was knighted today (November 9) by the Queen herself, over 30 years after she first met him as a precocious 19-year-old playing Hamlet at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Sir Kenneth, 51, remarked about how excited he was to receive the honour from Her Majesty, saying: "I'm so very pleased this has happened in the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics.

"It's been a hell of a year for the UK and I feel very honoured to be a tiny part of this part of it."

Branagh of course played a huge part in the ceremony, playing Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famed British engineer.

The star, who was invested as a Knight Bachelor, found fame as the most eminent Shakespearean actor of his generation, wowing on stage as the likes of 'Hamlet' and 'Henry V', later taking Shakespeare on to the screen with a series of film adaptations, some of which gained Oscar nominations for the star.

Cutting his teeth as a director on his signature Shakespeare, he's now hugely in demand as a director after his work on 'Thor', and is currently set to work on a new film depiction of Tom Clancy's character Jack Ryan.

Attending the ceremony were Branagh's wife Lindsay Brunnock while the actor joins the likes of Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley and Laurence Olivier by becoming an acting Knight.

Speaking to the BBC, he also revealed that he was pleased to be recognised for his charity work in his native Northern Ireland, adding: "It is special because it is to do with my roots in Northern Ireland and to do with a lot of work other people do and I'm happy to be associated with, lots of charitable institutions and real hard work on the part of a lot of people over there.

"I'm pleased the link with Northern Ireland is recognised, I'm very proud of coming from there."

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