Prince William awards poppy artist Paul Cummins with MBE

Prince William met a host of remarkable people on Tuesday as he carried out an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Among them were TV personality James Caan and artist Paul Cummins, who is best known for his poppy installation at the Tower of London.

William – who will travel to Japan and China later this week – was carrying out what was thought to be his last engagement before he jets abroad.

The Duke of Cambridge will be travelling solo at the request of his grandmother The Queen's government. He will be leaving his heavily pregnant wife The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, and the couple's toddler son George at home.


Prince William enjoyed a visit to Paul Cummins' poppy installation last year

Heading the investiture ceremony at the palace, William was tasked with handing out medals to the long list of honourees, and chatted to each recipient as they came forward.

William presented artist Paul with an MBE medal, which is awarded to people who have provided an outstanding service or made a significant achievement to the community.

Paul gained international fame when he produced the temporary Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red poppy installation in the moat of the Tower of London last year.

Paul Cummins and Tom Piper were honoured for their collaboration on the Tower of London poppy installation

The Derby native also recently made headlines after he revealed that William's wife Kate was already pregnant and suffering with morning sickness at the time of the couple's visit to the installation on 5 August. This would bring the Duchess' due date forward to mid-April, a couple of weeks ahead of what was originally thought as the palace only announced her pregnancy on 8 September.

"Kate was not going to come as, though it had not been announced, she was already pregnant and suffering," Paul told The Sunday Times. "But she insisted. It was her last public outing for a while."

Prince William told former Dragons' Den star James Caan that he missed him on the show

William also appointed investor James, who was a former Dragon on TV programme Dragons' Den, a CBE. The honour is given to those who have a leading role at regional level, or a prominent but lesser role at national level.

The Prince told James that he was a fan of the BBC show, which the media personality starred in for three years. "He said to me 'we miss you on Dragons' Den'," James told reporters after the ceremony. "It was amazing to meet the Duke. He is just so charming. I just adore the British history and culture and the whole formality of today. We should treasure this in this country."

Other distinguished members of the public who were honoured by William included Sir Adrian Cadbury, Chairman of Cadbury and Cadbury Schweppes, and theatre designer Tom Piper, who collaborated with artist Paul on the poppy installation.

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