A CHARITABLE Hartlepool woman has been awarded an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge.
Peggy Allen was a guest at Buckingham Palace where she received the prestigious accolade by Prince William for her services to the community in Seaton Carew.
The 94-year-old was shocked and surprised to have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list back in the summer.
And three weeks ago she travelled to her son’s home in Surrey ahead of the MBE investiture celebrations yesterday.
Speaking after the event, which was also attended by actor Damien Lewis who was handed an OBE, Peggy told the Mail: “It’s been overwhelming but it’s been wonderful.
“Prince William was lovely and absolutely charming.”
The pensioner was allowed take along three guests for the event, who were her son John Allen, 52, his wife Wanda Petrusewicz-Allen, 52, and Peggy’s eldest granddaughter Isabella Allen, 20, who travelled from France, where she is on university placement.
John said: “It’s been an amazing experience for my mum and for all of us.
“She is very modest but we are so proud of her.”
He added: “Actor Damien Lewis was also there receiving his OBE. I spoke to him and he congratulated my mother, he passed them onto her through me.
“Then on his way out he said to us ‘congratulations and nice to meet you’.
“It’s been a lovely occasion.”
Peggy and her family rounded off the day with tea at the plush Savoy Hotel.
Peggy, who was originally from Brighton but moved to town in 2002 and settled in Seaton Carew, was recognised for her lifelong dedication and service to the Christian Church, Women’s Fellowship, and the community.
Despite her years, Peggy continues to serve those around her through her commitment and passion as Seaton Carew Methodist Church pianist and house group leader.
In Brighton, between 1953 and 1985, she led the Salvation Army Home League meeting for women every Thursday, preaching, playing the piano and organising events for women throughout the community.
Between 1975 and 2002, she also ran the Ladies Fellowship in Brighton, planning and hosting meetings, preaching, playing the piano and planning events and for many years gave up her Christmas Day to provide lunch in the church hall for those less fortunate.
Now, living in Hartlepool, Peggy still tries hard to be active and at Christmas time plays carols on a portable organ in local care homes.
Peggy, was married to the late John Allen, who passed away in 1995. She is also mum to Patricia Mills, who passed away aged 60.