Royal Navy veteran's 'immense pride' after being named in Queen's Birthday Honours list
A FORMER trustee of a naval charity has told of her pride after being appointed an MBE by the Queen.
Weeks of secrecy are finally over for Annette Picton, who can finally announce the royal honour to friends and family.
The proud 70-year-old is among hundreds of people named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her services to the Royal Navy.
Annette had been a trustee Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity for nine years before stepping down in January as its vice-chairman.
During her stint with the Portsmouth-based charity, she played a pivotal role in developing it and supporting naval families and personnel across the nation.
Speaking of when she found out about her MBE Annette – who served with the Senior Service for 32 years – said: ‘I was down in Cornwall visiting my mother a few weeks ago and I got this email. I tend to neglect my emails when staying with other people.
‘I opened it and read on and it said I was going to be put forward for an award. I suddenly thought, “good heavens, this is remarkable”.’
Annette said it had been a challenge keeping her good news secret from her loved ones.
The first person on her list of people to tell will be her 101-year-old mother, Joan – who is also a naval veteran, having served as in the Women's Royal Naval Service during the Second World War.
She added: ‘I have been terribly discreet, I have not yet told anybody – that is soon going to be remedied. The first person I will tell will be my mother. She will be immensely proud.’
Annette is due to be made an MBE during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, led by royalty.
But it won’t be her first time meeting a member of the royal family – she has previously met the Princess Royal, Princess Anne in Portsmouth and the late Queen Mother.
‘That was a tremendous thrill,’ added Annette. ‘I couldn’t quite believe I was doing that. It was a great honour and privilege.’
Speaking of her MBE, Annette said: ‘This will be an extremely proud moment. One would have to be made of stone not to be thrilled by it.’
Alasdair Akass, director of fundraising and communications at the RNRMC, said: ‘We are thrilled that Annette has received this recognition for all that she has done, and continues to do in support of the Naval community.
‘She is a true stalwart and advocate for all the men and women of the Royal Navy, both serving and veteran.’