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Keira Knightley and Ms Dynamite pick up OBE and MBE



Keira Knightley and Ms Dynamite have been honoured at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Two-time Oscar nominee Knightley picked up an OBE for her services to drama and charity, while rapper and singer Ms Dynamite, real name Niomi McLean-Daley, was given an MBE for her services to music.

Film director Peter Greenaway, artist Lubaina Himid, publisher Liz Calder, The Archers star Timothy Bentinck and former South African cricketer Steve Elworthy also received honours from Prince Charles.

Keira Knightley with her husband, James Righton (left), and her parents, Sharman Knightley and Kevin William Knightley, as she arrives at Buckingham Palace, London to receive an OBE for her services to drama and charity at an Investiture ceremony
Knightley celebrated with husband James Righton and her parents, Sharman and Will

Knightley, best known for films including Love Actually, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Atonement and her 2002 breakthrough Bend It Like Beckham, was joined by husband James Righton and her parents Sharman Macdonald and Will Knightley as she collected the award.

The 33-year-old was named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year.

She was first nominated for an Oscar in 2006, as best actress for Pride & Prejudice, and again for best supporting actress for The Imitation Game in 2015, and has also been nominated for two BAFTAs – for Atonement and The Imitation Game.

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Niomi McLean-Daley, better known as Ms Dynamite with her MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), presented to her by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace
Ms Dynamite said she had changed her mind about receiving the honour

She has supported charities including WaterAid and Oxfam.

Ms Dynamite, best known for her early noughties hits including Dy-Na-Mi-Tee and It Takes More, explained why she had decided to accept the MBE in a piece for The Guardian.

“When I found out I was being offered an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours, my initial reaction was – no way,” she said.

The artist said her grandmother, Millie, had travelled to England in the 1950s as part of the Windrush generation, and that the investiture invitation had coincided with the scandal that emerged earlier this year.

Timothy Bentinck with his MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) presented to him by the Prince of Wales for services to drama during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.
Timothy Bentinck was also among those honoured by Prince Charles

She said she changed her mind, “not because I want to be part of the establishment, or had suddenly stopped caring about the damaging legacy of empire and colonialism, or that it was suddenly all okay, but because I wanted to honour my grandparents, and all of their generation, and the extraordinary sacrifices they made”.

Elworthy, who has lived in the UK for 12 years, said it was “humbling” to be recognised for his contribution to cricket after receiving an MBE.

The 53-year-old, who is managing director of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, due to be held in England and Wales next year, said: “I’m amazed actually, it’s the most incredible feeling and a fantastic day.

“To be around so many people, I know this is for cricket, but when you stand in that room and speak to other people about everything they’ve achieved, it’s a real humbling experience.”

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Bentinck, who received an MBE for his services to drama, spoke to reporters about his recent play Brexit, in which he starred as the prime minister.

“Thank goodness I’m not actually the real prime minister,” he said. “Just playing the part of it, I’m so glad I’m not a politician.”

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