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David Suchet collects his CBE from Prince of Wales

media captionActors David Suchet and Harriet Walter are honoured for their services to British drama.

Actor David Suchet, best known for playing Agatha Christie's great detective Hercule Poirot, has collected his CBE from the Prince of Wales.

The 65-year-old, who was honoured for his services to drama at Buckingham Palace, said the medal was "a very great honour".

Harriet Walter was invested as a dame, also for her services to drama.

The actress, who has had a successful career on both the stage and screen, said: "My heart's fluttering."

Dame Harriet was joined by her new husband, US actor Guy Paul, whom she married five weeks ago.

"I think actors feel they've got to keep proving themselves and that they haven't quite made it," she said.

"This makes you feel settled and that all your work has been noticed. To have a solid medal in your hands is quite nice."

The actress cited playing Cleopatra with the Royal Shakespeare Company as one her highlights so far.

She also starred in the 2006 film Babel and in 2007's Atonement in 2007.

'Lifelong dream'

Suchet has had a long and varied career on British TV, including roles in The Way We Live Now and ITV's Henry VIII opposite Ray Winstone.

The star has been nominated for Olivier and Tony Awards for his stage work, more notably for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus.

image captionDame Harriet Walter has had a long and varied career

"I've had a fantastic career. Although I will be remembered for Poirot I have never been typecast," he said.

"I'm very rarely me. I'm a character actor and that's the joy and the challenge."

The actor admitted 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.

"It may happen. There's a green light flickering and I'm waiting for it to be steady. It may be next autumn."