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    Colin Firth Gets an Honor Fit for a King

    Colin Firth Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    If you think Colin Firth earned his royal crown in The King's Speech, not to mention winning an Oscar in the process, so does Queen Elizabeth II.

    Her Majesty plans to give the esteemed thesp one of Great Britain's highest honors—making him a Commander of the British Empire in her annual Birthday Honors List out Saturday.

    The rank gives him the option to use the letters CBE after his name, but don't call him "Sir" just yet.

    RELATED: So True? So False? Is Colin Firth Getting Knighted?

    Commander of the British Empire is an order of chivalry encompassing five civil and military classes and just one step down from knighthood.

    Nominations are submitted twice a year by the government and the public to committees of civil servants which then decide on the recipients, including Firth. But it's the queen who actually doles out the honors—in this case, to commemorate her 85th birthday, which was on April 21. The other list of honors is published on New Year's.

    Firth has been one of the UK's most beloved exports, appearing in a series of excellent films throughout the past two decades from The English Patient and Fever Pitch to Bridget Jone's Diary and its sequel as well as The Girl With the Pearl Earing, Mamma Mia!, A Single Man and, of course, the movie that made him one of the big screen's most acclaimed actors, The King's Speech.

    Other notable entertainers getting the CBE treatment this round include singer Bryan Ferry (former frontman of Roxy Music) and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood (Nowhere Boy), while past winners include Rod Stewart, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kevin Spacey.

    WATCH: Colin Firth speak Italian at the 2011 Golden Globes!

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