Julie Walters has been made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

The 67-year-old actress received the honour for services to drama after spending four decades in the business since her breakout role in 1983's 'Educating Rita' alongside Sir Michael Caine, a performance for which she was nominated for an Oscar.

Walters received the honour from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday (07.11.17) along with Helen McCrory, and Walters joked that she simply felt ''relieved'' when the ceremony was over.

She told the BBC: ''It was slightly nerve-wracking, 'When do I curtsy?' But everyone is the same. It's one of those things where you feel relieved, then you look back and think, 'How fabulous!' I thought, 'I wish my parents were here.'

''It's a lovely thing, I can't explain it. The BAFTAs are fantastic and really important but it is about the business, and this is too but it's also about the country so it's special in that sense.''

Revealing what Queen Elizabeth said to her when she presented her with the DBE, she added: ''The Queen said, 'It's so marvellous that you've got this, I'm so pleased.' And, 'How long have you been doing acting?' I said, '43 years,' and she said, 'In so many different things, well done.'' ''

Walters has enjoyed an illustrious acting career and has appeared in a number of hit movies including 'Billy Elliot', 'Mamma Mia!', 'Calendar Girls' and starring as Molly Weasley in seven of the eight 'Harry Potter' movies.

Walters was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999 and a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2008.

The star has also been awarded several gongs for her talent on camera, including a BAFTA for her role in 'Billy Elliott' in 2001, a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in 'All My Sons', as well as numerous British Academy Television Awards for 'My Beautiful Son', 'Murder' and other productions.