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Kenneth Branagh knighted by queen

June 16, 2012 at 4:33 PM   |   Comments

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LONDON, June 16 (UPI) -- Actor Kenneth Branagh said he was thrilled at being knighted by Queen Elizabeth as part of the sovereign's annual birthday honors.

Branagh and fellow actor Kate Winslet were among the dozens of Britons up for various royal honors Saturday.

Branagh, 51, star of such British films as "Henry V" and "Harry Potter," said that as a kid, he dreamed of playing soccer for Northern Ireland's national side. "I could only imagine how proud you might feel," he said. "My heart is fit to burst."

Winslet was named Commander of the British Empire, joining entertainers such as actor Jenny Agutter, Take That singer Gary Barlow and songwriter Richard Stilgoe who were bestowed the Order of the British Empire.

The conglomeration of commemorations also included nearly 300 "ordinary" Britons who received the British Empire Medal, which was revived for the queen's Diamond Jubilee after being discontinued in 1991.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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