Wintour, 67, has been at the helm of the magazine for almost 30 years, a reign that has made her one of the most influential voices in fashion.
Wintour told reporters that the queen had struggled to pin her award to her clothing.
"She couldn't find where to put the brooch," she told the BBC.
Known for her cool demeanour on fashion show front rows, Wintour smiled broadly after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, which she attended with her daughter Bee Shaffer.
By Mark Hanrahan.