Entertainment

Spice Girl Mel B receives her MBE for services to domestic violence victims at Buckingham Palace

Mel B received royal honours on Wednesday in the first major investiture at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic.

The Spice Girl, 46, who was accompanied by proud mum Andrea, was named in the New Year Honours for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women.

On her special day at the Queen‘s London residence, where she was appointed an MBE by Prince William, the singer looked stunning in a red dress – designed by fellow Spice Girl Victoria Beckham – an accompanying headpiece and white heels.

Well-deserved: Mel B received her MBE for services to domestic violence victims from Prince William in the first major investiture at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday

Mel could not keep the smile from her face as proudly as she received the reputable accolade from the Duke Of Cambridge, after presenting him her best curtesy. 

The Woman’s Aid patron dedicated her MBE to other people who suffered in abusive relationships. 

Speaking to The Sun about learning she had received the honour, she said: ‘I thought about all the women I’ve met over the past few years who have been through terrible situations, women who have died, women who are still suffering. 

Happy moment: The Spice Girl, 46, who was accompanied by proud mum Andrea, was named in the New Year Honours for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women

Happy moment: The Spice Girl, 46, who was accompanied by proud mum Andrea, was named in the New Year Honours for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women

Moment to remember: Mel could not keep the smile from her face as proudly as she received the reputable accolade from Prince William

Moment to remember: Mel could not keep the smile from her face as proudly as she received the reputable accolade from Prince William 

Proud: Wednesday marked the first major investiture at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic

Proud: Wednesday marked the first major investiture at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic

Congratulations: On her special day at the Queen's London residence, the singer looked stunning in a red dress - designed by fellow Spice Girl Victoria Beckham - an accompanying headpiece and white heels

Congratulations: On her special day at the Queen’s London residence, the singer looked stunning in a red dress – designed by fellow Spice Girl Victoria Beckham – an accompanying headpiece and white heels

An honour: Mel presented her best curtesy at Buckingham Palace before receiving the coveted award

An honour: Mel presented her best curtesy at Buckingham Palace before receiving the coveted award 

Brave: The Woman's Aid patron dedicated her MBE to other people who suffered in abusive relationships

Statement: Speaking to The Sun about learning she had received the honour, she said: 'I thought about all the women I've met over the past few years who have been through terrible situations, women who have died, women who are still suffering

Brave: The Woman’s Aid patron dedicated her MBE to other people who suffered in abusive relationships

‘This, for me, was all about them. It still is.’

She continued: ‘Receiving that letter telling me about the MBE… it was the first time I thought that I’d done something.  

‘Not as a Spice Girl, but as Melanie Brown – this working-class, mixed-race kid from Leeds who has always done her own thing, regardless.

‘That made me feel incredibly proud of myself, of all women who’ve been through similar experiences and of all the people who have helped me along this path.’   

Raising awareness: Last year, the singer starred in a short film exploring domestic violence through dance, recreating a woman's escape from an abusive relationship

Raising awareness: Last year, the singer starred in a short film exploring domestic violence through dance, recreating a woman’s escape from an abusive relationship

Melanie split from her film producer ex-husband Stephen Belafonte in 2017 after a decade.

She claimed in her 2018 memoir Brutally Honest that she had suffered abuse – allegations Belafonte has repeatedly denied. 

Mel’s father Martin died from cancer following an eight-year illness in 2017.

Ex: Mel split from Stephen Belafonte, 46, in 2017 and claimed he emotionally and physically abused her during their 10-year marriage - something he vehemently denies (pictured in 2015)

Ex: Mel split from Stephen Belafonte, 46, in 2017 and claimed he emotionally and physically abused her during their 10-year marriage – something he vehemently denies (pictured in 2015)

The singer said that after telling her mother the news of her MBE, she had driven to his graveside to share the news with him.  

Pop star Mel said that, apart from the women who have suffered, she wanted to dedicate her award to her father.

She said he ‘started the journey I will be on for the rest of my life’, working as much as possible to raise awareness for domestic abuse. 

In 2017, Mel ended the near decade long rift with her mum Andrea. 

The mother-and-daughter had been estranged since 2008, following the star’s marriage to Stephen. 

In a 2008 interview, Andrea made no secret of her feelings about Belafonte, who became Mel’s husband in 2007 after a secret Las Vegas wedding before renewing their vows the following year.   

It was the second ceremony in Egypt that led to the family feud reaching its peak, with Mel also falling out with her sister Danielle, and her father Martin – at the time it was rumoured that her husband was the one banning Mel’s relatives from getting in contact with her and the children.

After Mel’s youngest’s birth in 2011, Andrea revealed in an interview with The Sun that she only learned of the pregnancy and birth via the internet.

Repaired relationship: The mother-and-daughter had been estranged since 2008, following the star's marriage to Stephen, before Mel ended the near decade long rift in 2017

Repaired relationship: The mother-and-daughter had been estranged since 2008, following the star’s marriage to Stephen, before Mel ended the near decade long rift in 2017

At the end of 2014, when Mel was hospitalised on the final weekend of The X Factor, Andrea went on a Twitter rant accusing film producer Belafonte of being physically violent towards the singer.  

When the news of her daughter’s divorce went public in March 2017, Andrea tweeted: ‘4 the 1st time in almost 10yrs I can go 2 bed knowing my daughter and the kids r safe no more abuse 4 any of us.’

Mel had filed for divorce on March 20 of that year and had said in court papers that she was the victim of ‘multiple physical beatings’ at the hands of her husband.   

Protective mum: At the end of 2014, when Mel was hospitalised on the final weekend of The X Factor, Andrea went on a Twitter rant accusing film producer Belafonte of being physically violent towards the singer

Protective mum: At the end of 2014, when Mel was hospitalised on the final weekend of The X Factor, Andrea went on a Twitter rant accusing film producer Belafonte of being physically violent towards the singer

Wednesday is not the first brush Mel has had with royalty. 

At a 1997 charity gala for The Prince’s Trust, where the Spice Girls were in attendance, Geri Halliwell and Mel both kissed Prince Charles on the cheek in a major breach of royal protocol, according to Time Magazine. 

At the time there were reports the Geri had pinched the Prince’s bottom, but she later claimed she only gave it a ‘pat.’  

Flashback: Wednesday is not the first brush Mel has had with royalty. At a 1997 charity gala for The Prince's Trust, where the Spice Girls were in attendance, Geri Halliwell (second left) and Mel both kissed Prince Charles on the cheek in a major breach of royal protocol, according to Time Magazine (from L-R: Mel C, Geri, Emma Bunton, Mel B, Victoria Beckham)

Flashback: Wednesday is not the first brush Mel has had with royalty. At a 1997 charity gala for The Prince’s Trust, where the Spice Girls were in attendance, Geri Halliwell (second left) and Mel both kissed Prince Charles on the cheek in a major breach of royal protocol, according to Time Magazine (from L-R: Mel C, Geri, Emma Bunton, Mel B, Victoria Beckham)

Watford Football Club manager Roy Hodgson, 74, who was England boss during a four-year stint from 2012 to 2016, received his CBE on Wednesday. 

The manager was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to football.

The former player looked dapper in a crisp suit as he proudly held up his accolade for photographs. 

Proud moment: Watford Football Club manager Roy Hodgson, 74, who was England boss during a four-year stint from 2012 to 2016, received his CBE on Wednesday

Award: The manager was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to football

Proud moment: Watford Football Club manager Roy Hodgson, 74, who was England boss during a four-year stint from 2012 to 2016, received his CBE on Wednesday

Well done: The former player looked dapper in a crisp suit as he proudly held up his accolade for photographs

Well done: The former player looked dapper in a crisp suit as he proudly held up his accolade for photographs

Others collecting awards included radio presenter Simon Mayo and actress Ruth Wilson, with paralympians Chris Ryan and Thomas Young also honoured at the ceremony.

Simon, 63, joined the BBC in 1982 and has since worked for BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 2.

The presenter, who has also written six novels and hosted a critically acclaimed film review show with Mark Kermode, was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his service to broadcasting and charity.

Reward: Simon Mayo, who has also written six novels and hosted a critically acclaimed film review show with Mark Kermode, was made an MBE in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours list for his service to broadcasting and charity.

Reward: Simon Mayo, who has also written six novels and hosted a critically acclaimed film review show with Mark Kermode, was made an MBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his service to broadcasting and charity.

Meanwhile, Ruth, 40, has starred in hit TV series such as The Affair and Luther and won two Olivier awards.

The actress was made an MBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to drama.

She will be joined by wheelchair rugby player Chris, 30, who was part of the GB team that won gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021.

Well done: Chris Ryan, 30, who was part of the GB team that won gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, was made an MBE for services to wheelchair rugby

Well done: Chris Ryan, 30, who was part of the GB team that won gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, was made an MBE for services to wheelchair rugby

He was made an MBE for services to wheelchair rugby in the 2022 New Year Honours list.

Fellow Paralympian Thomas, who won the gold medal in the men’s 100 metres T38 event in Tokyo was also made an MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to athletics.

The last investiture at the palace was on March 12 2020 just before the first lockdown, and was conducted by the Prince of Wales who opted for a namaste as he greeted recipients in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

A week earlier, the Queen had chosen to wear long white gloves as she carried out an investiture.

Yay: Fellow Paralympian Thomas Young, who won the gold medal in the men's 100 metres T38 event in Tokyo was also made an MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to athletics

Yay: Fellow Paralympian Thomas Young, who won the gold medal in the men’s 100 metres T38 event in Tokyo was also made an MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to athletics

Spice Girl Mel B receives her MBE for services to domestic violence victims at Buckingham Palace Source link Spice Girl Mel B receives her MBE for services to domestic violence victims at Buckingham Palace

Back to top button