Jenkins dedicates OBE to UK forces
2:28pm Friday 14th March 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Classical singer Katherine Jenkins has dedicated her OBE to all the UK's forces serving around the world.
The Neath-born mezzo-soprano received the award from the Prince of Wales during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony and described being recognised for her music and charity work as a "special thing".
Jenkins has had a string of popular hits since making her recording debut in 2004 and twice won the best album prize at the Classical Brits.
The singer is also a trustee of the British Forces Foundation and towards the end of last year travelled with the organisation to Afghanistan to entertain troops.
She revealed that the letter informing her of the OBE was sent to her family's home in Neath but was delivered by mistake to a neighbour, who handed it to her mother.
Jenkins said: "She was bouncing off the walls, desperate for me to open it. When I opened it I was so shocked, I really, really couldn't believe it.
"I was obviously incredibly proud. My mum and I had a little glass of champagne and toasted my father, who is not with us any more.
"My award was for services to music and charity, I definitely put most of that towards my work with the military and my charities like Macmillan (Cancer Support).
"To be recognised for the things that I've done with the military is a really special thing for me and I feel it should be shared with all of them really, all our military personnel around the world."
Speaking about her trips to entertain the troops, the singer said: "It boosts morale, it shows them that the UK public really appreciate everything they do and think the world of them.
"It's not a political thing, it's about showing support for the men and women - they go where they're told and they put their lives on the line, and I have massive admiration for that."
She revealed that Charles liked her striking purple hat, by milliner Philip Treacy, which complemented her colourful dress by British fashion label Preen.
The singer said: "The Prince is always a lot of fun and I've met him several times, so we always have a nice chat. He asked how long had I been doing this and I said 10 years releasing albums and five years working with the British Forces Foundation.
"He also commented on my hat - he said he loved the colour."