Hollywood star Emily Watson has described receiving an OBE as "absolutely amazing".
The twice-Oscar nominated actress was left overwhelmed by the experience of being awarded the honour by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.
The ceremony was staged by chance as her new film A Royal Night Out - about Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret's evening with the crowds on VE Day in 1945 - went on general release.
Speaking about receiving the OBE for services to drama following more than 20 years on stage, screen and television, she said it was "absolutely amazing, thrilling - I feel a little bit overwhelmed".
The 48-year-old became a name to watch following success in her first major film role in Breaking The Waves, which saw her nominated for the Best Actress Oscar.
"Once you've done it once, they keep asking you back. I feel very lucky, very fortunate," Watson said, playing down her screen talent.
Her career has taken in Hollywood success - she got her second Best Actress Oscar nod for Hilary And Jackie in which she played cellist Jacqueline du Pre and learned the instrument herself to make the portrayal even more convincing.
She has appeared in films as diverse as Angela's Ashes, Gosford Park and War Horse, and her performance in ITV's Appropriate Adult, about Fred West, won her a TV Bafta.
Speaking of her new film, she said: "We filmed at Chatsworth and Belvoir Castle for the interior of Buckingham Palace."
The actress plays Queen Eliz-abeth, later the Queen Mother, opposite Rupert Everett as King George VI with Sarah Gadon as Princess Elizabeth, the future queen, and Bel Powley as Margaret.
Watson said she watched old footage of the Queen Mother, but there was not much archive material of her speaking.