Oscar favourite Colin Firth was acclaimed Actor of the Year at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards for his portrayal of stuttering monarch King George VI and said it was "more than we could have hoped for".
The King's Speech lost out to The Social Network for Film of the Year at the event at the British Film Institute (BFI) on London's Southbank but picked up awards for British Film of the Year and British Director of the Year.
Speaking backstage, Firth said: "Films like this depend entirely on what people say about them. They don't depend on the money because there wasn't much, they don't depend on a big studio machine or a big financial apparatus."
Asked about stories that the Queen had seen the film and enjoyed it, he said: "It means a very great deal to me if that is the case."
He added: "I've had some fantastic ups and downs which have not necessarily been consistent with how they've been received so I've had a lot of highs and this is certainly one of them."
It is the second year in a row that Firth has won the award - he picked it up last year for his role in A Single Man.
Kristin Scott Thomas was presented with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Cinema by Sam Taylor-Wood, who directed her in John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy.
She said: "It was very special because I know she wouldn't have done that for many people and I'm really touched by what she said."
The Social Network was the most successful film on the night, winning four awards.
The film, about the founding of the social networking site Facebook, also won Director of the Year for David Fincher, British Actor in a Supporting Role for Andrew Garfield and Screenwriter of the Year for Aaron Sorkin.
Annette Bening was named Actress of the Year for her role in The Kids Are All Right.
Lesley Manville won British Actress of the Year for her role in Mike Leigh's Another Year and Olivia Williams picked up the award for British Actress in a Supporting Role for The Ghost.
Williams' role saw her play the adulterous wife of the prime minister, played by Pierce Brosnan, who has an affair with Ewan McGregor's character.
She said making the film was great fun, joking: "There was the obvious attraction of being married to Pierce Brosnan and shagging Ewan McGregor."
Christian Bale won British Actor of the Year for The Fighter, and Young British Performer of the Year went to Conor McCarron, who appeared in gritty Glaswegian drama Neds.
He paid tribute to filmmaker Peter Mullan who he described as "a mysterious wizard guy".
He said the film, which tells the story of violent teenage gang members, was surprisingly fun to make.
He said: "The atmosphere on set was nothing like the way the film is set, it's obviously kind of dark but when we were shooting we would do what we had to do but then after that it was laughs all round."
Breakthrough British Filmmaker was won by Gareth Edwards for his feature debut, Monsters.
The Foreign Language Film of the Year was awarded to the critically acclaimed Of Gods And Men directed by Xavier Beauvois.
The awards are voted for by more than 120 members of the circle including critics, broadcasters and writers.
Chairman of the London Film Critics Circle Jason Solomons said: "Congratulations to the winners in an extremely close-fought year, where so many worthy titles caught the eyes of the critics.
"The purpose of these awards is to bring attention to the wide variety of films on offer to viewers and I think we've done that with our nominees and winners.
"I'm particularly thrilled to see Colin Firth again, continuing on his fine form of last year when he won for A Single Man. And Kristin Scott Thomas was an impeccable recipient of our Dilys Powell Award, demonstrating her wit, elegance and graciousness and allowing us all to recall the highlights of a highly impressive career in cinema."
FULL LIST OF FILM AWARDS WINNERS
:: Film of the Year - The Social Network.
:: The Attenborough Award for British Film of the Year - The King's Speech.
:: Foreign Language Film of the Year - Of Gods And Men.
:: Director of the Year - David Fincher, The Social Network.
:: British Director of the Year - Tom Hooper, The King's Speech.
:: Actor of the Year - Colin Firth, The King's Speech.
:: Actress of the Year - Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right.
:: British Actor of the Year - Christian Bale, The Fighter.
:: British Actress of the Year - Lesley Manville, Another Year.
:: British Actor in a Supporting Role - Andrew Garfield, The Social Network.
:: British Actress in a Supporting Role - Olivia Williams, The Ghost.
:: Screenwriter of the Year - Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network.
:: Young British Performer of the Year - Conor McCarron.
:: Breakthrough British Filmmaker - Gareth Edwards, Monsters.