Sir Kenneth Branagh Declared His Knighthood As the Pinnacle of ‘One Hell of a Year’
The Daily Mail, 9 November 2012
It wasn’t quite Shakespeare. But there was no mistaking the sense of pride as Sir Kenneth Branagh declared his knighthood as the pinnacle of ‘one hell of a year’.
The 51-year-old thespian, one of the UK’s finest actors and directors, was at Buckingham Palace on Friday to be honoured by the Queen.
He first performed for the monarch 30 years ago, when she saw him play Hamlet - now one of his trademark roles - as a 19-year-old student at RADA in 1980.
The Northern Ireland-born actor first found fame in the television mini-series 'Fortunes Of War', during which he met his first wife, Emma Thompson, before going on to star in 'Henry V', 'Much Ado About Nothing' and 'Frankenstein', which he also directed.
More recently he has been seen on our television screens as Swedish detective Wallander on the BBC.
Over the years he has been nominated for five academy awards and won three BAFTAs and was knighted in the Queen's birthday honours in June.
'Very honoured': The thespian joins the likes of Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley in becoming an actor knight.
Speaking after his investiture for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland, the Belfast-born star said: ‘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.’
Sir Kenneth, whose film art director wife, Lindsay Brunnock, was among those at the ceremony, joins the likes of Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley and Laurence Olivier in becoming a thespian knight.
He joked he was acting a bit ‘showbiz’ after the investiture - by jumping on a motorbike back to Pinewood Studios, where he is directing Jack Ryan, the latest in the long-running film adaptation of Tom Clancy's spy thriller novels.