King joins throng of honour holders at service of dedication

The King continued his return to public duties following his cancer diagnosis as he joined world-renowned film director Sir Ridley Scott at a service honouring the Order of the British Empire.

The service of dedication, held at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London on Wednesday, was attended by almost 2,000 holders of honours including OBEs, MBEs and CBEs from across the UK and Commonwealth.

Sir Ridley, director of the 2000 film Gladiator, Sir Bill Beaumont, former England rugby union player, and Earl Howe, deputy leader of the House of Lords, were among those to walk in the procession before the King and Queen.

Charles and Camilla wore red robes, known as the mantle of the OBE, and were seen smiling as they entered St Paul’s to a trumpet fanfare and took their seats at the front of the congregation.

Camilla wore a floral red and cream Fiona Clare dress and Charles wore his naval uniform.

Service for the Order of the British Empire
The King and Queen arrive at the service (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Recipients of the Orders awards led prayers and readings in the Church of England service, which closed with the congregation singing the national anthem.

The Order of the British Empire was established by King George V in 1917 to reward outstanding contributions to the war effort and now recognises the work of people from all walks of life.

The service at St Paul’s comes after Charles carried out his first major investiture since his cancer diagnosis in February at Windsor Castle.

Those honoured by the King at the ceremony on Tuesday included author Dame Jilly Cooper and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

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