Created in 1902 by Edward VII, the Order of Merit is the personal gift of the monarch.
There can only be 24 living members at a time, making this a very exclusive collection of personalities from the arts, sciences, culture, and military.
Current members include David Hockney, Sir David Attenborough, Betty Boothroyd, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the pioneering computer scientist.
The new appointments, the first since 2015, were made by the King during a service at the Royal Chapel.
The monarch then hosted a pre-lunch aperitif in the picture gallery, where he praised Hockney for his yellow shoes, worn with matching glasses and a flamboyant suit.
The artist, who used a wheelchair, insisted on standing when he met the king.
Hockney, 85, is preparing to launch an immersive experience that will give visitors the ability to engage with audio and visuals to follow a journey through his art.
The show will launch early next year at Lightroom, a new four-storey venue in King’s Cross, London.
The King turned to famed architect Lord Foster and said: “I can’t wait to see what he does next.”
. King makes praise magnificent Crocs yellow David Hockney