Jenny Agutter has been awarded an OBE for her tireless support for charities, and accepted it for all those working for good causes.
The actress has been a regular face on cinema and TV screens for more than 40 years but has now been honoured for her efforts away from the bright lights.
The 59-year-old has been supporting organisations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Action For Children for many years and was awarded an OBE by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
She said: "It's lovely to be recognised for the work I've done. I think the charitable sector has a great many people who work voluntarily and I'm totally inspired by them and feel privileged to, in a way, have this honour on their behalf - there are a lot of people working very, very hard. But I'm in a position where, I guess, because of being an actress one's in the front line - that's what one has to use to draw people's attention often to charities.
"I work with a handful who are very, very important to me and the people I work with are extraordinary and really wonderful."
Jenny is a trustee of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and has experience of the inherited condition, which leaves the lungs vulnerable to serious infections, as her niece Rachel, has the disease.
She also holds the post of patron with the ovarian cancer charity Ovacome.
The actress took time out from filming hit BBC drama series Call The Midwife to attend the ceremony.
She said the reaction from the public to the series in some ways surpassed her big films: "It's extraordinary, I've never really had such a response, even with the Railway Children, which people talk about a lot, and American Werewolf, which had its own kind of following.
"But with Call The Midwife I find people are compelled to come and talk about it, they seem deeply affected by it."