World champion Lewis Hamilton has been awarded an MBE by Her Majesty The Queen today in Buckingham Palace in London.
Hamilton, who became the youngest ever Formula One world champion last year, joined around 120 others as The Queen oversaw the investiture in the Palace's State Ballroom this morning.
"To go to the Palace today and meet Her Majesty The Queen was an incredible experience, following what has been an intense, exciting and unbelievable 12 months of my life," said Hamilton.
"I'm so proud of the reception I have received from everybody in the United Kingdom. People's enthusiasm and support - even during the tough times - really kept me going and helped me through an extremely demanding year.
"To be recognised alongside the people who make an outstanding and selfless contribution to society, is truly humbling and I'd like to thank Her Majesty The Queen, her Government and the British public for bestowing this honour on me. I'd also like to thank my family for sharing my dream and helping to make it a reality.
"Last but not least, I'd also like to thank my team - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - for taking a chance on me when I was 13 years old. I still can't believe I'm in Formula 1 and that I'm now a World Champion - it's incredible."