ICONIC Scottish photographer Albert Watson has told of his "shock" at being been awarded an OBEy.

Edinburgh-born Watson, who has shot more than 100 covers for Vogue and 40 covers for Rolling Stone magazine, was among several high-profile Scots recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

"First of all it was a great shock," Watson told the Sunday Herald yesterday, from his home in America. "We only heard about it two weeks ago and were sworn to secrecy...We had already organised a party and it was seven o'clock [in New York], when the embargo was lifted, that's how we were able to announce it at the party. Everyone was very excited. It's another OBE for Scotland, which of course, is very nice."

He added: "I had no idea about this award. When I received the call from the [British] embassy I thought the initial call was about photographing a trade delegation that was here."

Watson, who is blind in one eye, studied graphic design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee and film and television at the Royal College of Art in London.

In 1970 Watson moved to the United States with his wife. The same year he produced two shots for Max Factor which caught the attention of American and European fashion magazines.

His photography has been since been used in major advertising campaigns for fashion brands such as Prada, Levi's, Revlon and Chanel.

His most famous portrait is of Alfred Hitchcock holding up a plucked goose for the 1973 Christmas cover of Harper's Bazaar magazine.

He was the official Royal Photographer for Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's wedding in 1986, and is also noted for his work for the National Theatre of Scotland's productions of Macbeth and Let the Right One In.

He has received many awards during the last four decades of his career including a Grammy and a lifetime achievement award from the Royal Photographic Society, but Watson said he felt his OBE was a "very British" achievement.

His most recent exhibition ended in May this year at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow.

There are now plans for an exhibition in Chelsea, New York, in September this year which will include his landscape photography taken on the Isle of Skye.

Other Scots who received honours include Professor Anne Glover, former Scottish Government Scientific advisor who was made a Dame and composer James MacMillan who was knighted.

Steven Moffat, the television writer and producer behind Doctor Who and Sherlock received an OBE.