Award-winning actress Ruth Wilson jokes she will wear MBE ‘every time I go out’

Ruth Wilson has joked that she will wear her MBE “every time I go out” as she collected the award at Buckingham Palace.

The actress, who has won two Olivier Awards as well as a Golden Globe for her performance in the TV series The Affair, was made an MBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to drama.

She joined others including actor and musician Ram John Holder and Olympic modern pentathlon gold medallist Kate French to collect their awards from the Princess Royal at the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Wilson said the day had been “amazing”, adding that the award is a “huge honour” and a “real privilege”.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Ruth Wilson speaks to the Princess Royal during the investiture ceremony (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Asked where she would put her MBE, she joked: “On my lapel – I’m going to wear it for the next .. every time I go out.

“No I don’t know, I’ll have to frame it or something. Or maybe round my neck.”

On what the recognition meant to her personally, Wilson said: “It’s amazing – I’ve seen for years people getting these awards for various things, for dedicating their life to their jobs and what they do.

“It’s just a real privilege to be awarded it and be amongst all these other people I’ve seen in the room today.

“It’s just really lovely seeing people coming from all over the country and the services they have done to the community or in their chosen field.”

Asked about her conversation with the Princess Royal, Wilson said Anne talked about how they would put on plays in the palace as children.

The actress said: “She asked whether I had done acting when I was younger and then I asked her whether she had done acting when she was younger.”

“She said that she had, and I asked if they put on plays in the palace and she said they did – just in that room actually,” Wilson said, indicating the room where the awards had been handed out.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Ram John Holder after being awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She went on to say the TV show Mrs Wilson, in which she played her real-life grandmother who discovers that her late husband had another family, was her career highlight.

Wilson said: “It was in honour of my family and it was for them and it was hard and it was a huge amount of pressure.

“I could see how I was giving something back to my family and even just the conversations we were having as a family – it was really important and it opened up conversations and discussions and I think that it’s the thing that I feel most proud of.”

Actor and musician Ram John Holder, 88, also collected his CBE at the ceremony.

The 88-year-old, who is best known for playing Porkpie in the TV series Desmond’s, said: “It is just beyond one’s dreams of what one can achieve – professionally I’m talking about – and of course the award, the accolade.

“I couldn’t have pictured it better.”

The actor later added: “I’m an old person now but it would be fantastic to dig up my parents’ grave and say: ‘Mummy and Daddy, look what’s happened to your boy.’

“It’s a lifetime achievement. It means a sort of cap – not an end because I still have a few more years and work to do – but it has meant total fulfilment for the work that we have done and the recognition and I’m very, very happy.”

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Kate French after she was made an MBE (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

French, who won the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, was made an MBE during the ceremony.

The 31-year-old, who said she hoped to defend her title at the Paris Olympics in 2024, told PA that the day had been an “amazing experience” and “very special”.

“I was just really surprised and honoured to be given an MBE.

“It’s just really nice to have been recognised for the achievements, especially this year because we won the male and female gold, and to be made an MBE is just amazing.”

French said Anne spoke to her about the changes to pentathlon after it was decided last year that horse riding would be removed from the sport.

“She’s obviously very into equestrian and she was saying it was potentially very sad about the riding being removed,” French said.