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Winslet, Branagh honored by queen

Kate Winslet has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for her titanic contribution to the arts. Winslet, who won a best actress Academy Award in 2009 for "The Reader" and made her breakthrough as Rose in the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic," has been named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the queen's Birthday Honors List, published yesterday, The Associated Press reports.

Winslet, 36, said the honor made her "very proud to be a Brit."

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh was made a knight. The respected Shakespearean actor whose films as a director range from "Henry V" to the comic-book fantasy "Thor," said he felt "humble, elated, and incredibly lucky."

Songwriter and philanthropist Richard Stilgoe, who wrote lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera," was also awarded a knighthood. Golfer Luke Donald was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Sarah Burton, who designed Kate Middleton's wedding dress, received an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

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