DAME Judi Dench has been made a Companion Of Honour by British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, making the veteran actress one of only 65 people to hold the award.

The SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE star received her honour - instituted by KING GEORGE V in 1917 to recognise service of national importance - at Buckingham Palace in London.

Dench, 70, was made an Order Of The British Empire (OBE) in 1970 and a Dame in 1988.