Dominic Lipinski/Invision/AP 1 / 4
Dominic Lipinski/Invision/AP 1 / 4

LONDON (AP) -- Patrick Stewart has been upgraded from captain — to knight.

The actor — famous for playing Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" — officially became Sir Patrick Stewart when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

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While "Star Trek" introduced him to a different group of fans, Stewart is also a widely respected stage actor.

The 69-year-old actor discovered the theater as a child, and said "my heroes were Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Alec Guinness." Being "in that company is the grandest thing that has professionally happened to me."

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Stewart joined Britain's storied Royal Shakespeare Company in his 20s, and in 2008 was nominated for a Tony award for the leading role in "Macbeth."