The beloved broadcaster, who was knighted in 1985, has been appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael And St George for services to television broadcasting and to conservation in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
It is the latest tribute for 94-year-old Mr Attenborough, who is perhaps the world’s best-known naturalist.
He said: “I am, of course, most honoured that my work should have been recognised in this way.”
The indefatigable presenter began his career bringing the majesty of the natural world to millions of TV viewers and now delivers powerful warnings over what is at stake in the fight against climate change.
His impact on British culture is enormous. He was not only a pioneer of wildlife programmes but had a spell as controller of BBC Two and was responsible for introducing colour television into Britain.
He joined the corporation in 1952 and two years later launched the first of his famous Zoo Quest series.
Mr Attenborough has now been to every corner of the world while making documentaries. His recent series include Blue Planet II, Climate Change – The Facts, Dynasties, A Perfect Planet and Our Planet.
The latter saw Mr Attenborough working with US streaming giant Netflix.
Instead of retiring, Mr Attenborough has continued to work and his documentaries have become more outspoken on the subject of climate change.
In January, he warned that “the moment of crisis has come” and “life-or-death decisions” must be made to tackle the issue. There is no more time to “prevaricate,” he said.
His appeal spans generations. Earlier this month he fielded questions from a host of celebrity fans, including 85-year-old Judi Dench and the teenage pop sensation Billie Eilish.
This week Mr Attenborough was unveiled as a judge on the Duke of Cambridge’s Nobel-style environmental competition, the Earthshot Prize, which will recognise ideas and technologies that can safeguard the planet.
The Order of St Michael and St George recognises service in a foreign country, or in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs. The Grand Master is currently the Duke of Kent and the 125 Knights and Dames Grand Cross display their banners of arms in the Chapel of the Order at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.