Our Chief Nurse Kathryn Halford picked up her OBE for services to nursing on Thursday 29 November.
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, presented her with the honour at Buckingham Palace, and the proud 55-year-old took along her family, husband Roland, daughters Rebecca and Freya and son Olli for the special occasion.
She said: “It was a really lovely day and you’re made to feel so special.
“Prince William was really nice and asked all about the Trust and my career in nursing and we chatted about how we manage change and improvement in the NHS. He was very attentive and you get to have a personal conversation, just you and him.”
After collecting her OBE Kathryn, who spends the week living in Harold Wood, returning to her family home in Gloucester every weekend; was joined by the rest of her family, including her parents and two sisters, for lunch.
Before collecting her award, nerves kicked in when she was the next in line to meet the prince.
Kathryn added: “I wasn’t nervous at all until I was next in line, but Prince William was so easy to talk to that put me at ease.
“They tell you what to do beforehand and there’s no rush so you really have the time to enjoy it. And you’re very well looked after.”
Kathryn was just 18 when she started in nursing and her varied career has included caring for victims of the London bombings in 2007 as well as looking after some of the first HIV and Aids patients.
She was among 64 NHS staff receiving awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, marking the 70th anniversary of the NHS.