By Maane Khatchatourian
Updated November 09, 2012 at 04:32 PM EST
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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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