Jessica Ennis heads Olympic stars collecting honours at Palace as Cherie Blair slips away quietly with hers

Jessica Ennis and other stars of the 2012 Olympics were at Buckingham palac
  • @andymcsmith

Jessica Ennis and other stars of the 2012 Olympics were at Buckingham palace today receiving their gongs from the Queen.

Ennis, who was awarded a CBE after winning a gold in the heptathlon, said afterwards that the Queen told her that “the summer was amazing”. On the same day, David Brailsford, boss of the UK cycling team, was knighted, cyclist Jason Kenny received an OBE, and boxer Nicola Adams, long jumper Greg Rutherford and cyclist Joanna Rowsell all received MBEs. The actor Adrian Lester also received an OBE, for services to drama.

While the Olympic stars all lined up to be photographed and interviewed, another award recipient slipped quietly away. Cherie Blair, wife of the former Prime Minister, always hated the pomp surrounding the monarchy during her ten years in Downing Street. She is reputed to have caused offence by wearing a trouser suit and failing to curtsey when she met the Queen privately.

Today, she collected a CBE for charity work. She is patron of Cancer Care, Refuge, Scope and the Community Foundation for Merseyside, honorary vice-president of Barnados, and president of the Loomba Foundation, which campaigns for widows worldwide. But she had ticked the ‘no publicity’ box which meant no photographs or interviews afterwards.

A spokesperson said: “Mrs Blair was deeply honoured to receive her CBE from the Queen today, and she felt this was a personal occasion to be shared with the family.”