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Tuesday, 24 October, 2000, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Street star receives MBE
Liz Dawn
Thumbs up: Liz Dawn is thrilled after receiving her MBE
Coronation Street star Liz Dawn, better known as Vera Duckworth, has been given an MBE.

But she revealed the Queen did not recognise her when she arrived in a smart hat and dress at Buckingham Palace.

The down-to-earth soap star, famous for her character's tirades against fictional husband Jack, was awarded the honour for her services to charity.

She has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for hospitals in the Manchester and Leeds area.

The 60-year-old actress said: "What would our Jack say? I look like Thora Hird in this hat.

"Even the Queen said 'Are you in disguise?' I bet she thought I was weird."

Standing outside Buckingham Palace, she said she had been terrified ahead of receiving the honour.

"It were nerve-racking. I've never been so frightened in my life - I've hardly slept," she said.

A staunch royalist, she met the Queen when the monarch visited the Coronation Street set in 1982 and posed for a picture with the cast outside the Rovers Return.

Prince's visit

The Prince of Wales is due to visit the set of the Street, Britain's longest-running TV soap, on 8 December, and has been offered the part of an extra.

Liz received her MBE for services to the Manchester Children's Hospital, the Genesis Appeal and the Liz Dawn Breast Cancer Appeal, St James' Hospital, Leeds, for which she has raised more than 700,000.

Earlier this year, she was made lady mayoress of her home city of Leeds and has also been given an honorary doctorate by Leeds Metropolitan University for her voluntary work.

Dawn has featured in the soap for 25 years as loud-mouthed Vera, and her character believes she is related to the Royal Family.

It is rumoured that Vera Duckworth will be involved in her own health scare at Christmas while donating a kidney to her errant son Terry's grandchild.

Environmentalist Jonathon Porritt was also among the guests at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to receive a CBE.

An influential friend of the Prince of Wales, Porritt is now the prime minister's chief adviser on the environment as chairman of the government's sustainable development commission.

Major Sir Michael Parker was knighted for organising the Queen Mother's centenary pageant on London's Horse Guards.

Sir Michael organised the 80th, 90th and 100th birthday celebrations for the Queen Mother, as well as 26 years of Royal Tournaments, the VE and VJ Day commemorations in 1995, and much of the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977.

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