The Wallander star is being recognised for services to drama and the community in Northern Ireland.
Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet a CBE.
“I feel very humble about it, I feel elated about it,” he said.
“It would be an amazing thing at any time. In the jubilee year, I’m sure anybody else that’s had the good fortune to be recognised would feel as I do. Very, very special.”
Branagh added it was an honour to be recognised in the same way as many of his acting heroes, including Sir Laurence Olivier, who he recently played in My Week with Marilyn.
Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, 36, said she was “both surprised and honoured” to become a CBE for services to drama, and stand alongside those “who have achieved great things for our country”.
The star shot to fame in 1997 blockbuster Titanic, and has since earned six Oscar nominations and a string of international acting awards.
“I feel deeply proud to receive this, as a part of an ever expanding community of British actors and film makers who are fortunate enough to be able to contribute to an international industry,” added Winslet.
“This makes me very proud to be a Brit!”
The list also sees Take That star Gary Barlow become an OBE.
Other actors honoured include Call the Midwife’s Jenny Agutter, who is appointed OBE for her charity work, and New Tricks star Amanda Redman, who founded the Artists Theatre School and becomes an MBE.
Also honoured with OBEs are actor and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah and Upstairs Downstairs co-creator and star Jean Marsh, who returned to TV screens in 2010 for BBC One’s revival of the series.
After designing the Royal wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge last year, Sarah Burton, the Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, is appointed OBE for services to the fashion industry.
From the literary world, The Woman in Black author Susan Hill is honoured with a CBE, while children’s author and illustrator Judith Kerr – famous for the Mog stories and The Tiger Who Came to Tea – becomes an OBE.
Renowned cookery writer and broadcaster Mary Berry, 77 – who was a judge on BBC2′s hugely successful TV baking contest, The Great British Bake Off – becomes a CBE.
It is a bumper year for the arts, with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director Michael Boyd made a knight for services to drama, and RSC executive director Vikki Heywood appointed CBE, as they both prepare to stand down in September.
Boyd said: “I am extremely grateful for this wonderful acknowledgement of my work so far, of our achievements at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and of the earned importance of theatre in British life.”
His colleague Heywood echoed his thoughts and paid tribute to the passion and ambition of those she has worked with, adding that she is “absolutely delighted and very proud”.
Scottish opera director David McVicar also receives a knighthood, for services to opera, while English National Opera’s Edward Gardner becomes an OBE.
A regular fixture on Countdown, Richard Stilgoe is knighted in recognition of his generous donations to good causes.
Soul singer Omar is appointed OBE, along with The Thick of It writer Armando Iannucci, for services to broadcasting.
Actress and campaigner, April Ashley, 77, will become an MBE for services to transgender equality. After being born a boy, she became the first Briton to undergo a sex change operation, in Casablanca in 1960.
Also on the list from the world of entertainment and the arts are Head of Warner Bros UK, Josh Berger, who becomes a CBE, and Bridget Jones 2 director Beeban Kidron, who is appointed OBE.
(Source – edited)