Fantastic Mr Fox honoured

A boy from the bush who made it big in the hat business, with royalty among his regular clients, has been awarded his own crown.

81-year-old Frederick Fox has been named Australian of the Year in the UK for his distinguished design career on an international stage.

The now-retired milliner crafted more than 350 hats for the Queen over a 34-year period and received his royal warrant in 1974.

Born at Jerilderie in New South Wales' Riverina, Fox's design ambition took him to Sydney as a teenager and soon after to London.

He quickly established his own business and went on to design not only for the Queen, but Hillary Clinton, Joan Collins and Barbara Cartland have also donned Fox designs.

He has worked on several films, and among his credits are the iconic white leather crash helmets and suits seen in 2001, A Space Odyssey.

The Australian is also widely-recognised as the founder of the fascinator, an inclusion in his 1999 collection.