In December last year (15) it was announced the EastEnders star would be named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE), in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.

On Tuesday (22Mar16) she visited the royal residence, Buckingham Palace, in London to collect the DBE honour, awarded for services to charity and entertainment.

After hearing the news at the end of 2015 Barbara said, “I am so very honoured, proud and extremely humbled by this honour.

"I feel so lucky to live in a country I love, a job I have always adored which has allowed me to be in a position where I am able to help others."

After Tuesday's ceremony the actress, who originally found fame in the 1960s with her racy roles in the Carry On films, smiled as she showed off the award to photographers while wearing a lacy lavender dress with a ruffled high-neck collar.

It is not the first time the soap star has received an honour from the Queen, as in 2000 she was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

In January (16) it was announced that Dame Barbara would be leaving her role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders permanently, 22 years after she took up the role.

Also in attendance at Buckingham Palace was Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt who was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his services to drama and to the community in Northern Ireland.

The Hobbit star, who has been active in working with families affected by past conflicts in his homeland said of the honour, "I've been very blessed with my work and very blessed to come from Northern Ireland and for those two things to be on the citation was really rather gratifying."

Other famous names who were named in the New Year's Honours List who have already collected their awards include the actor Idris Elba and British dance pioneer Goldie.