The 22-year-old Northern Irishman has been recognised six months after pulling off one of the sport’s greatest performances to win the US Open.
McIlroy claimed the second major of the year at Congressional by an astounding eight shots in a tournament record score of 16 under-par 268.
McIlroy said: “I am delighted to be named in the Queen’s New Year Honours list. It is quite humbling to be included in such a list of worthy recipients.
“Many people on the Honours list have made huge personal sacrifices and contributed significantly to society during their lives. I feel very fortunate to be in their company.”
McIlroy’s US Open win was all the more remarkable coming just two months after a demoralising final-round meltdown at the US Masters.
He had started the last day at Augusta with a four-stroke lead but shot 80 to finish in tied 15th.
Few doubted his talent, but many feared he might never recover from the blow to his confidence. He put on a brave face, saying he would have many more opportunities to win majors.
He proved true to his word with his emphatic victory in Maryland.
McIlroy joins fellow Ulster golfer Darren Clarke on the list.
Scottish funnyman Ronnie Corbett receives a CBE for services to entertainment and charity. Famed for his monologues on The Two Ronnies, he tops a string of stars honoured for their contributions to entertainment, media and sport.
These include TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, actress Helena Bonham Carter and Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford, who won acclaim for her reports from the Libyan civil war.
Two big names in television — Peter Bazalgette of Endemol, the company behind Big Brother, and Paul Smith, of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? creator Celador — also feature on the list, which sees Apple’s Jonathan Ive, credited with designing the iPhone, iPod and iPad, made a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE).
Property tycoon Gerald Ronson, 72, the man who brought self-service petrol stations to Britain in 1960s and built Heron Tower, the tallest structure in the City of London, gets a CBE for services to charity.
But he will always be known for his role in the Guinness share support affair more than 20 years ago, which became a celebrated court case and sparked a long battle by Mr Ronson to clear his name.
Bonham Carter, 45, who played the Queen Mother alongside Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, gets a CBE for services to drama.
The Oscar-nominated actress embarked on her glittering career when she was still at school and went on to star in films, including A Room with a View, Fight Club and The Wings of the Dove.
Away from screen and stage, the north London-based actress — a mother of two and partner of director Tim Burton — has raised eyebrows for her eccentric and unconventional dress sense, and turned up at the most recent Golden Globes with mismatched red and green shoes.
In the media, Alex Crawford gets an OBE for services to broadcast journalism.
The war correspondent, now based in South Africa, became a household name after reporting live from the back of a truck as rebels advanced into Tripoli this summer.
She made headlines after her astonishing live dispatches were beamed around the world from a satellite linkup powered by the vehicle’s cigarette lighter.