Famous for his stage and screen roles, the Belfast-born actor was given the award for his services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland.
Branagh was knighted by the Queen in June as part of her birthday honours.
Other stars recognised in the honours list this year were Kate Winslet, Gary Barlow, Gareth Malone, Amanda Redman and Armando Iannucci.
Branagh said in the summer that he was "humble, elated and incredibly lucky" to receive the honour.
"When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team," he said.
"I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt, and my heart's fit to burst."