Mike Catt, who won 75 England caps over a 13-year career, was honoured for services to rugby during the investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
After receiving the award, Catt said he had discussed the England team’s current campaign with the Queen –including the performance of granddaughter Zara Phillips’s fiance.
South African-born Catt, now London Irish’s attack coach, said: “She’s following the Six Nations. We had a chat about her future grandson-in-law Mike Tindall and how he was doing as captain.
“She said she thought he was doing very well and that she hopes he continues to do that.
“The guys have been doing fantastically well. I’m pleased for Martin Johnson. I rate their chances very highly.
“They’ve got a lot of confidence and they’re in a great place at the moment.”
Catt was awarded the MBE in 2003 after booting the ball into touch to ensure an England Rugby World Cup win. The utility back appeared for England at fly-half, centre, full-back and on the wing before hanging up his boots in May last year.
He also appeared in the 2007 Rugby World Cup at the age of 36, the oldest player yet to do so.
The 39-year-old said: “The nice thing about this one is that it’s very much an individual thing. The MBE was more about the team.
“I would say receiving the award from the Queen is more nerve-racking than playing a World Cup final though.”