'Sacre bleu' indeed, for in the final days of his presidency, Pringle takes his place alongside abstract artist Jackson Pollock, iconic musician Bob Dylan and celebrated author Paul Auster as a recipient of France's highest cultural accolade.
The cultural department of the French Embassy selected Pringle for his work in education in particular, adding that he had 'fought for it all over the world'.
Pringle said: 'I am particularly delighted and grateful to have been honoured by the French government by the award of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres for my contribution to architectural education internationally.
'Architecture is a progressive agent for good in our society and there is an international community of architects committed to excellence in education, and practice, which must be supported and encouraged.
'France has been a great patron of architecture of the highest quality and it is a pleasure to be recognised by such an enlightened nation.'
Other recipients of the award have included actor Leonardo Di Caprio and the band Supertramp.