Kate Winslet Becomes CBE, Kenneth Branagh Knighted By Queen Elizabeth II

In London, Kate Winslet has received a royal honor for her contribution to the arts, and actor/director Kenneth Branagh has to be called Sir Kenneth Branagh from now on.

Queen Elizabeth II has formally acknowledged the efforts and services of the two in her birthday list published today, reports E!. In it, Kate Winslet has been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE for short. According to Winslet, receiving the honor made her “very proud to be a Brit,” continuing, “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 actress won the Academy Award for best actress in 2009 for The Reader, but is probably still best-known for her breakthrough role in 1997’s Titanic.

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh was knighted, and will be known as Sir Kenneth from here on out. He is a respected Shakespearean actor, and has most recently directed Marvel Studio’s superhero film Thor. Receiving knighthood has made Branagh feel “humble, elated, and incredibly lucky.”

“When I was a kid, I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team,” said the 51-year-old Belfast native. “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.”

The Queen bestows these honors twice a year – one on the New Year and once on her birthday. Though the list is comprised of mostly community servants outside of the spotlight, a few stars usually find their way to the list.

I wonder what I can do to become a knight…