The Sherlock star was named a recipient of the title on Her Majesty's Birthday Honours List in June (15), and he wore a traditional morning suit to the investiture ceremony at London's Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to receive his medal from the monarch.

Cumberbatch, who was honoured for his services to drama and charity, told the BBC, "It's fantastic, it's quite nerve-wracking, there is nothing really that prepares you for it.

"It's a unique occasion and I feel very privileged to be here and flattered to be recognised in this way... It was wonderful, it was the first time I've ever met her (the Queen) and to meet her and be honoured by her was extraordinary."

He also told reporters after the ceremony how his impassioned pleas for donations during his stage production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet raised more than $240,000 (£150,000) for Save the Children's refugee appeal.

Cumberbatch criticised British politicians over their handling of the crisis during his final curtain call at London's Barbican in October (15), and he is glad his campaign for donations worked.

"It has been a fantastic response from the public who came to that theatre who raised a hell of a lot of money and awareness," he said. "We all felt just powerless and, as a new father, to see the footage and the photos that came to us in the summer, I think every single one of us with a heart realised this wasn't someone else's problem somewhere else - this was all our problem, a humanitarian problem... So I was very happy to step up to the plate and ask a very receptive and very generous audience at the Barbican to help out."

He was joined at the ceremony by his theatre director wife Sophie Hunter, who gave birth to the couple's first child, Christopher, earlier this year (15).