Gloria Hunniford has been awarded an OBE. At a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony on Friday, the Northern Irish broadcaster was presented the honour by the Queen. The pair were pictured chatting and sharing a sweet exchange as Gloria was recognised for her contributions to cancer charities through breast screening services and cancer support.
Gloria, 77, sadly lost her daughter Caron Keating, also a TV presenter, to breast cancer in 2004. With the help of her sons Paul and Michael, she set up the Caron Keating Foundation, which gives grants to small cancer charities throughout the UK, financing professional carers, support groups and counselling services.
Gloria poses with her OBE outside the palace
Gloria looked thrilled as she spoke with the Queen and later posed for photographs outside the palace. When she was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours, Gloria said: "Getting the OBE is very humbling because it's not for showbusiness. This is for the foundation and it was a cancer charity that actually nominated me, it was Action Cancer in Belfast."
Earlier this week, the TV veteran spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about growing up in Northern Ireland and leaving for Canada at the age of 17. "It changed my life forever," she said on This Morning. "Back in Portadown it was Catholic schools in one end of the town, Protestant schools in the other, but when I went to Canada nobody cared what religion I was. I learned every quickly that all colours, creeds, everybody could live together and that absolutely broadened my horizons forever."
The broadcaster was recognised for her services to cancer charities
She also spoke about living through the Troubles in Belfast, where she worked as a BBC broadcaster. "I was on air one day doing a programme and there was a car bomb at the base of the studio wall and the whole building was evacuated. I did have the choice to leave but I opted to stay. The bomb went off and dust and rubble came out of the walls. I just kept broadcasting and explained to people what was happening."
On Friday night, Gloria will host her tenth annual Pinktober Gala with Hard Rock Heals, an annual event which raises money and awareness for the Caron Keating Foundation. Over the past decade, the gala has raised almost one million pounds in the fight against breast cancer.