Explorer Sir David Hempleman-Adams has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.
The Knight Commander of the Victorian Order (KVCO) honour is a personal gift by the Queen and is only presented to the Royal family or those working for the Royal family.
Sir David recently stepped as a trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme after 10 years.
He has described the honour as the "icing on the cake".
Sir David, who lives in Box, Wiltshire, said he found out after opening some early Christmas cards and letters, including one with a Buckingham Palace stamp on it.
"To my astonishment, it was a letter saying I would be given the KCVO in the New Year's Honours list.
"It's an extraordinary honour, and I will be forever in the HRH Duke of Edinburgh's debt.
"He has been incredibly kind to myself and my family over the years, this is simply the icing on the cake."
The Duke of Edinburgh is a patron to many of Sir David's expeditions, including his historic solo balloon flight to the North pole.
He is the only person to have taken the award flag to the top of Everest, and to the North and South poles.
Others who have been included in the New Year Honours list include:
- Teacher, Nicola Wetherall who has been awarded an MBE for her work in teaching young people about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights
- Jane Rodwell Middleton, 76, who has received a BEM for her 20 years' service as a hospice worker at Salisbury Hospice, and local fundraising efforts
- Dorothy May Brown, 63, from Swindon, who has received an MBE for her long standing community work in the Pinehurst and Parks area of the town, helping to set up a credit union, and setting up a youth cafe