He will be honored "for services to ballet," according to the list of honorees published on the Queen's birthday.
Franklin, who is 90 years old, began his career at the Casino de Paris with Josephine Baker, and went on to dance with the Vic-Wells Ballet (now the Royal Ballet) and then the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where he was appointed ballet master in 1944.
In 1953, he co-founded the Slavenska-Franklin Ballet with Mia Slavenska, the second of his great partners (the first was Alexandra Danilova) where they created the roles of Stanley and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. In 1962, he became the founding artistic director of the National Ballet in Washington.
When he learned he had won the award, Franklin told the BBC, "I had to sit down because I was so overcome."