David Suchet, star of Poirot, has collected his CBE from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace and described the award as "a very great honour".
The actor, known for his portrayal of Belgian moustached detective, said that that the royal told him "he was thrilled I was getting this award."
The star joked about how his brother newsreader John Suchet told him to turn down the Poirot role.
"I didn't think I was right for it. I telephoned my brother and he said 'no don't touch that'," David said. "I just read it for myself and thought it would be a challenge."
The actor said: "I've had a fantastic career. Although I will be remembered for Poirot I have never been typecast. I'm very rarely me. I'm a character actor and that's the joy and the challenge."
David added that he was hoping to fulfil a "lifelong dream" to film the remaining Agatha Christie's Poirot novels.
"I have done all but five of the stories. My lifelong dream will be releasing the Poirot boxset of all the novels she wrote," he said."It may happen. There's a green light flickering and I'm waiting for it to be steady. It may be next autumn."
As well as being nominated for Olivier and Tony Awards for his stage work, David's numerous other leading roles include portrayals of Cardinal Wolsey in ITV's Henry VIII and Robert Maxwell in a TV dramatisation of his downfall. He was also in the series Oppenheimer.
Dame Harriet Walter, who has had a distinguished career on both the stage and screen including the films Babel in 2006 and Atonement in 2007, was also honoured for services to drama.
The actress said just moments after being made a Dame Commander: "My heart's fluttering. You think I'd be used to walking in a straight line and curtseying."