The Belfast-born actor said he was pleased to be honoured in the year of the queen's diamond jubilee and the Olympics. He said: "It's been a hell of a year for the UK and I feel very honoured to be a tiny part of it."
Branagh was knighted at Buckingham Palace yesterday for services to drama and for his charity work in Northern Ireland.
Best known as a Shakespearean actor and as TV detective Wallander, Branagh joins the pantheon of theatrical knights alongside the late Laurence Olivier, whom Branagh played in My Week With Marilyn.
He has also directed films including Henry V.