Published Friday, 09 November 2012
Kenneth Branagh is knighted at Buckingham Palace. (© PA)
The Oscar-nominated actor, director and screenwriter, has been made a knight bachelor for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Friday.
He was knighted in the Queen's birthday honours in June.
The 51-year-old is well known for his Shakespeare works, recently as Swedish detective Wallander and locally as 'Billy' in Northern Ireland Troubles drama 'Too Late to Talk to Billy'.
Sir Kenneth said he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky" at the award.
"When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team," he said.
"I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt and my heart's fit to burst."
Richard Croxford, Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre, said he was delighted the actor, who played a sold-out show at the new theatre last autumn, has received the honour.
Kenneth Branagh is one of the finest actors of his generation and this award recognises his vast contribution to the dramatic arts, as well as his support for the community of Northern Ireland.
Richard Croxford, Lyric Theatre
"Certainly he has not forgotten his roots and returned to Northern Ireland last year to perform at the Lyric in Belfast," Mr Croxford added.
"We were delighted that such an esteemed actor was able to join us in the opening year of our new theatre when he performed in The Painkiller which was one of our most successful shows to date."
Branagh joins the likes of Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley and Laurence Olivier in becoming a thespian knight.
Today's investitures also saw two British servicemen, Corporal Carl Taylor from Birmingham and Bombardier Mark Carpenter of the Royal Artillery, awarded the Military Cross for bravery.
© UTV News