Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan was conferred the distinction of "Knight of the Legion of Honour" during a ceremony held at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai.

H.E. Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France presented the award to the global star in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cultural diversity across the world.

Presenting the award H.E. Mr Laurent Fabius said: "The French people hail Shah Rukh Khan's talent and generosity, which arouse the enthusiasm of a vast audience across the world, transcending cultural and historical differences and bringing together people from all walks of life to his films".

Accepting the prestigious honour Shah Rukh Khan said: "There are different moments in life that make you feel that you are on the right track. This is one such moment. I am truly humbled to receive this honour.

"I thank the President of France Mr François Hollande and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, Mr Laurent Fabius for finding me fitting for this honour."

Shah Rukh Khan
Khan was presented with a medal by H.E. Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France.

Praising the Indian film industry, Khan said: "I am a part of the Indian Film Fraternity and it makes me feel proud to be recognized for the field I am most passionate about.

"This honour has further motivated me to take Indian Cinema to the next level of acceptance, love and glory. And thank you France for being so loving and appreciative of Indian films, it's extremely encouraging. All the best for World Cup Glory..."

Writing on Twitter the actor also paid a personal tribute to his mother on the occasion saying: "Mommy would have been so proud. & the Indian Film Industry, Thanx for taking a nobody & making his dreams come true.

"Thank u France & His Excellency President Hollande & Mr. Laurent (fabulous) Fabius for the honour. Thx my India."

Other renowned Indian recipients of this honour in the field of the arts include legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, renowned film director Satyajit Ray and sitar maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar.

Khan has also been awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India (2005) and Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters by the Government of France (2007) for his contribution to films.

Khan was recently named the second richest celebrity in the world, ahead of Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks.