Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Royal tribute to brave children


Prince Harry with seven-year-old William John

Prince Harry led the nation in paying tribute to some of Britain's most courageous children and teenagers.

He presented medals to 10 individuals who have displayed outstanding bravery or kindness, or battled against an illness or disability.

The group were honoured at the Woman's Own Children of Courage 2008 awards ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

A host of celebrities joined the winners' and their families at the annual event.

The BBC's Daniela Relph said it was a "very moving occasion" but also one of "great excitement" for the children.

After the service, former England footballer turned television presenter Gary Lineker said: "I just think coming here is a chance to show our thanks and admiration for a group of very special young people.

Courtney Taylor, 10, from the Cotswolds
Edward Common, 13, Northumberland
Evie Edwards, 13, Suffolk
Keaton Peppiatt, 10, East Sussex
Rupert Parsons, five, Somerset
Tara Ifill, 14, south-east London
William John, seven, South Wales
Sisters Lucy, eight, Bonnie, 11, and Charlotte Long, 12, from Kent

"A, it's nice to be invited and B, to come along with others and show your support."

The former striker's son George survived a rare form of leukaemia as a baby, and he said he could relate to some of the parents at the ceremony.

The host of BBC's Match of the Day added: "Obviously there's a similarity with one or two of the families here and I can understand to a degree what they've been through."

The award ceremony was part of a church service at Westminster Abbey, which included Christmas carols, readings and prayers.

Comic Catherine Tate read from the bible and told the story of Christmas to the congregation.

Later, the guests were treated to a performance of O Holy Night by former X Factor contestant Rhydian Roberts.

Earlier, the winners met Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street, and after the service, they were taken as guests of honour to the House of Lords.

Their achievements cover a range of categories from Outstanding Bravery and Young Carer to Local Hero and A True Inspiration.

Other stars invited to the service included pop group Girls Aloud, the judges from the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show, and several EastEnders actors.

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Courage award for carer, aged 7
10 Dec 08 |  South West Wales

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