It was during lockdown and the first week in June. I was working upstairs and Bern was on his computer downstairs. I was checking the girls were attending their lessons online and texting them to find out why not if they weren’t! when an email came in with Capital letters and numbers…it looked like a scam and I thought twice about opening it….I wondered whether to delete it!..I thought as long as I didn’t click on anything it would be fine!
The first line…The Prime Minister has asked me to inform you, in strict confidence, that having accepted the advice of the Main Honours Committee, he is recommending that Her Majesty The Queen may be graciously pleased to give informal approval that you be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Birthday Honours List 2020.
Well….I had to keep reading it over and over and my heart was beating twenty to the dozen (ones of my mums old sayings! ) I carried on reading it and it outlined that the first thing to do was accept the Honour…..Flip…Of course I was going to accept it!! YEEEEEEES!! Once people agree or not agree the list is then re-submitted to the Queen and normally the Investiture would take place quite soon after that but in this case, due to Covid 19 they wanted to prolong the announcement so that they could add some extra honours in for work and effort during the pandemic. The Investiture takes place in St James’s Palace but of course at the moment they are not taking place. In fact goodness knows when they will.
I ran down the stairs to tell Bern and he was at his desk on the phone and waved his hand at me to go away, as who he was talking to was important!…IMPORTANT!!! there isn’t very much more important than being told you have been given an MBE in my book but went back upstairs bursting with excitement! and reread it all again. Forms needed to be completed and off it goes by scanned email to the cabinet office and we get our heads round the fact that we cannot tell anyone until the Autumn. When is the autumn…I was thinking October but when September 1st came it was being called Autumn but nothing. It was really difficult to not think about it and not tell people, but when it did come out last week and I told my sister I did point out that it was a pressure to keep it under wraps and I wouldn’t have wanted her to have that pressure!
I also didn’t know who had nominated ,me for the award and then on Friday night my old friend and colleague from Dean Close told me that she had prepared the nomination. She almost deserves it as much as me for all the hard work. Gathering information, emailing parents, people I had been associated with from charities, school and the Honourable Company. I am so grateful. What an amazing Friend.
I must thank everyone that submitted a letter and gave me a letter of support…I LOVE YOU!!